By Josh Brown
Miami Valley Today
MIAMI COUNTY — After canceling the entire spring sports season due to the pandemic caused by the coronavirus, COVID-19, the Ohio High School Athletic Association offered some hope for the fall season, announcing the divisional and regional alignments for football, soccer and volleyball — with a pair of Miami County teams making moves in football.
Troy and Piqua remain unchanged, playing once again in Division II, Region 7. Last year, the Trojans qualified for the playoffs for the fourth straight season and first in Region 7, while Piqua narrowly missed qualifying for the postseason. With the two in the same region again and last year’s Week 10 head-to-head matchup practically being a “winner gets in” game, expect more drama this fall.
Tippecanoe’s home remains the same, as well, in D-III, Region 12. The region is also home to last year’s D-III state champion, Trotwood.
Milton-Union, which made its first trip to the playoffs since 2016, will also stay put in D-IV, Region 16, where it moved up to from D-V last year.
The rest of the divisions will see some changes, though.
Bethel will remain in D-V, Region 20, where it moved up to from D-VI last year.
However, Miami East — which had been in D-V since 2017 — moved down to D-VI, Region 24. The Vikings will join conference rival Covington in that region, which has been there since moving up from D-VII in 2017.
And in D-VII, Region 28, Troy Christian will drop down from D-VI, where it had been since 2017, and join Bradford and Lehman Catholic.
The areas schools will all remain in the same place in boys and girls soccer. Troy and Piqua will compete in Division I, Tippecanoe and Milton-Union in D-II and Bethel, Lehman, Miami East, Newton and Troy Christian will all compete in D-III.
Volleyball’s alignment will remain the same, as well. Troy and Piqua remain in Division I, Tippecanoe and Milton-Union in D-II, Miami East and Bethel in D-III and Bradford, Covington, Lehman, Newton and Troy Christian remain in D-IV.
Of course, the OHSAA is still coming up with contingency plans should the pandemic continue to force school and facility closures into the summer and fall.
“July is a very physical month for our student-athletes entering fall sports, so we have already started looking at, if this continues through the summer, we’ll have the potential of having a lot of kids who haven’t had the physical activity that they would normally have going into a fall season,” OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass said in a press release last week. “So for the health and safety of everyone, we have to look at the acclimation periods going into the fall, if that happens.
“We’re also talking about that, if this does go through the summer, what is the likelihood that a student can get in to get a physical? We have a sports medicine advisory group that is looking at that. They are looking at all aspects, such as whether artificial surfaces need to be treated. We are relying on the advice of experts in our decision making.”
In other interviews throughout the week, Snodgrass also said that shortening the fall season was a possibility, though no final decisions had been made yet.
Contact Josh Brown at email@example.com.
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