COLUMBUS — Several area high school football teams will be moving into different regions after the The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced the football regions and schedule format for the 2017 playoffs.
Beginning this year in Division III, Shawnee and Elida moved from Region 10 to 12 and will join fellow Western Buckeye League foes Wapakoneta and Celina in the region.
With the move to Division IV, St. Marys will move to Region 14. Bath, Kenton and Van Wert are also in Region 14
Ottawa-Glandorf, which was moved to Division V, will be playing in Region 18. Several Wood County schools are in Region 18. Other schools in Region 18 include Paulding, Oak Harbor, Archbold and Van Buren.
In going up to Division VI, Ada will be in Region 22 and will play in the same region as Northwest Conference rival Columbus Grove. Others in the region include Carey, Patrick Henry, Delta and Riverdale.
State powerhouse Coldwater, which dropped to Division VI will be in Region 24 and Fort Recovery, which moved up to Division VI, will also be in the same region. Other area teams in the region include Spencerville, Bluffton, Delphos Jefferson, Allen East, Lima Central Catholic and Marion Local.
In Division Vll, Perry has gone from Region 26 to Region 28 and Delphos St. John’s and and Crestview have moved from Region 26 to Region 28.
Another change the OHSAA announced was that all playoff games during the first four rounds will be played at 7:30 p.m. Friday nights. Also announced was the format for the state championship games, which will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton Nov. 30 through Dec. 2.
The new regions and playoffs format were approved last Thursday by the OHSAA Board of Directors at their June meeting as part of the 2017 football tournament regulations. New divisions were announced April 6.
According to a release by the OHSAA, “For a few years now we have studied the possibility of moving all playoff games to Friday nights for the first four rounds,” OHSAA Assistant Commissioner Beau Rugg said. “Due to so many more college football games being played on Saturday nights, attendance at our Saturday playoff games has steadily declined, and more potential playoff sites have said they cannot host games on Saturdays. We now have enough playoff sites to handle all the games on one night, and the football coaches association was in support of this change, too, because teams will get to stay on their normal weekly schedule of playing on Friday night.”