As the 2022 OHSAA Football season fast approaches, we get our first glimpse at the new playoff regions. The OHSAA has moved some teams up and down during the offseason, and so there may be a few different potential playoff opponents in the paths of our Butler County teams this season. Let’s meet the teams in the Southwest Regions that affect Butler County!
Division I, Region 4
Butler County Teams: Fairfield, Hamilton, Lakota East, Lakota West, Middletown
Other Teams Still In the Region: Colerain, Elder, Lebanon, Mason, Milford, Moeller, Oak Hills, Princeton, Saint Xavier, Sycamore, Walnut Hills, West Clermont
No Longer in the Region: Western Hills
New To the Region: Middletown, Springboro
Analysis: After two years of being banished away from their GMC brethren and relegated to Region 2 with the Toledo and Dayton schools, Middletown finds itself back in the Southwest region, where they belong. With Western Hills opting out, Springboro gets flexed down to Region 4, where 16 of the 18 schools will make the playoffs.
Division II, Region 8
Butler County Teams: Edgewood, Ross, Talawanda
Other Teams Still In the Region: Anderson, Belmont, Fairborn, Harrison, Kings, La Salle, Lima Senior, Little Miami, Loveland, Piqua, Sidney, Stebbins, Troy, Turpin, Winton Woods, Withrow, Xenia
No Longer in the Region: Briggs, Columbus West, Franklin Heights, Teays Valley, Tecumseh, West Carrollton
New To the Region: Aiken, Northwest, Ross
Analysis: Region 8 goes from a 25-team region to a 22-team region, making it slightly easier for any given team to qualify for the playoffs. Ross jumping up will affect them in the most significant way, where the Rams will now have to deal with the likes of La Salle and Winton Woods and such. With Northwest also getting pulled up, the entire SWOC is now in Division II, except for Mount Healthy, meaning that all SWOC games involving Ross and Northwest are now potentially worth another half-point in the Harbin ratings. Looking at the teams that are leaving, only Teays Valley (last year’s #4 seed) is a significant subtraction. Briggs, Columbus West, Franklin Heights, and West Carrollton went a combined 6-53 in the last two seasons (and two of those six wins were Briggs victories over Columbus West). That’s a lot of dead weight dropped, not exactly making it that advantageous to go from 25 to 22 teams in the region.
Division III, Region 12
Butler County Teams: Badin, Monroe
Other Teams Still In the Region: Bellbrook, Carroll, Celina, Chaminade-Julienne, Elida, Franklin, Goshen, Greenville, Hughes, Lima Shawnee, Mount Healthy, New Richmond, Tippecanoe, Trotwood-Madison, Vandalia Butler, Wapakoneta, Woodward
No Longer in the Region: Aiken, Alter, Dunbar, Fenwick, Northwest, Ross, Ponitz Tech, St. Mary’s Memorial
New To the Region: Hillsboro, Meadowdale, Oakwood, Tecumseh, Thurgood Marshall, West Carrollton, Western Brown, Wilmington
Analysis: Badin and Monroe are the big winners here. The Rams and Hornets were the top 2 seeds in last year’s playoffs, and now the OHSAA is sending Ross up to Division II and Alter, Fenwick, and St. Mary’s Memorial down to Division IV. Merry Christmas early, guys! Bringing in the Thurgood Marshalls and Meadowdales of the world won’t exactly strike the same fear in the hearts of Rams and Hornets fans as Kettering Alter. The only truly dangerous team that gets added to this region: Western Brown, who was in Region 11 last year with the Columbus teams. They get geographically flexed to the Southwest region. The Broncos went 11-3 last year, scoring an AVERAGE of an astounding 50 points per game, before finally bowing out to Granville in the Regional Finals. Monroe knows them well, after beating them 66-58 last year. Such an opponent has the potential to infuse a little bit of offense and intrigue to the Region 12 bracket.
Division V, Region 20
Butler County Teams: Madison
Other Teams Still In the Region: Blanchester, Brookville, Carlisle, Clark Montessori, Clermont Northeastern, East Clinton, Finneytown, Greenon, Madeira, Mariemont, North College Hill, Preble Shawnee, Purcell Marian, Summit Country Day
No Longer in the Region: Bethel, CHCA, Madison-Plains, Meadowdale, Reading, Roger Bacon, Springfield Shawnee, Taft, Versailles, West Liberty-Salem, Williamsburg
New To the Region: Gamble Montessori, Greeneview, Miami East, Milton-Union, Springfield Northeastern, Springfield Northwestern, Norwood, Valley View, Waynesville, Westfall, Zane Trace
Analysis: Madison has a lot of work to do, after being the only winless team in Region 20 last season. But on the bright side, four of the top five seeds (Taft, Roger Bacon, Reading, and state champion Versailles) have been flexed out of this region, along with perennial powerhouse CHCA. Valley View is football royalty, Waynesville has had a few good years in recent history, and Milton-Union is very much on the way up, after going 10-2 last season. Also of note is the addition of the Westfall Mustangs, who went 1-8 last season, but are the alma mater of Joe Eitel himself.
Division VII, Region 28
Butler County Teams: New Miami
Other Teams Still In the Region: Ansonia, Bradford, Cedarville, Cincinnati College Prep, DeGraff Riverside, Fayetteville, Fort Loramie, Hillcrest Academy, Lockland, Miami Valley Chrisian Academy, Mississinawa Valley, New Bremen, Saint Henry, Sidney Lehman Catholic, Southeastern Local, Springfield Catholic Central, Tri-County North, Troy Christian
No Longer in the Region: Beaver Eastern, Franklin Furnace Green, Manchester, Marion Local, Portsmouth Notre Dame, Ridgemont, Sciotoville East, Tri-Village, Twin Valley South
New To the Region: Fort Recovery, Mechanicsburg, Minster, Riverview East Academy, Saint Bernard-Elmwood Place
Analysis: If Badin and Monroe feel like they won the lottery in Division III, New Miami has to feel similarly in Division VII. Marion Local jumps back up to Division VI, and also gone are the #2 and #3 seeds, Tri-Village and Portsmouth Notre Dame. Three powerhouses gone, with only one to replace them: Mechanicsburg, who was the #1 seed in Division VI, Region 24 last season, making it to the Regional Semis before getting blitzed by Coldwater. Minster and Fort Recovery are part of the vaunted Midwest Athletic Conference that produced two state champions (Marion Local, Versailles) and a state runner-up (Coldwater) last season, but the Wildcats and Indians are not the best the MAC has to offer at this point, going a combined 5-17 last season.