On Tuesday the OHSAA and Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass announced the Football Divisional assignments for the 2019 season and the Hillsboro Indians were among 14 teams across seven divisions to move down a division because of competitive balance.
The Indians competed in D III during the 2018 season but will move down to D IV for the 2019 season.
According to Hillsboro High School Athletic Director Dave Dietrick the Indians’ “regular season schedule will not change, the only difference we will see is if we make the playoffs like we did last season.”
Hillsboro is the only team from the Frontier Athletic Conference that will change divisions in 2019.
The Chillicothe Cavaliers will again compete in D II for the 2019 season and are the only league team that competes in D II for Football.
The Jackson Ironmen and Miami Trace Panthers will again be D III programs for the 2019 season.
The Washington Blue Lions and McClain Tigers will continue to compete as D IV programs with both teams looking to increase their win totals from the 2018 season.
Hillsboro had it’s best season in nearly a decade in 2018 when they finished 9-1 overall and 4-1 in the FAC to earn the team’s first playoff appearance since 2005 and a share of the FAC Championship with Jackson.
The Indians took on Eastmoor Academy in the first round of the D III Region 11 playoffs in Columbus but were unable to overcome the high powered Warriors offense as they fell 34-14.
“The purpose of these moves is to try and ensure a competitive and balanced playing field for all of the OHSAA member schools,” said Dietrick. “Football in Ohio, especially playoff Football, is very good regardless if it is Division 1 or Division. We are going to take it as it goes and we will be ready regardless of what division we are assigned to.”
The specific region assignments within each division will be announced next week, along with the 2019 football playoffs format. The state championship games return to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton December 5-7, 2019.
Ryan Applegate is the Sports Editor for The Times-Gazette. Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.