Note: This story appears in the Thursday, June 6 newspaper on Page B1.
The Trimble Tomcats’ quest for another appearance in the state finals will have to take a different path in 2019.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced its division assignments for the 2019 football season on Tuesday and the Tomcats have moved up a division.
Trimble will compete in Division VI for the upcoming season, a year after playing in the Division VII state championship game.
The Tomcats will be one of the smallest schools, in terms of enrollment, in Division VI.
Trimble’s male enrollment was 113. Its completive balance number of six puts its final tally up to 119.
The only schools in Division VI that are smaller — after competitive balance is factored in — are Fayetteville-Perry and East Knox. Both have final numbers of 117.
The cutoff between Division VI and VII was 116.
The OHSAA added a seventh division in 2013, and Trimble has been a member of it every season since. The Tomcats played in the Division VII state championship game in 2013 and 2018.
The Tomcats bring back the vast majority of a roster that went 13-2 last season and will have sky-high expectations, but will have to navigate a potential postseason in Division VI.
The regional breakdowns for each division will be announced at a later date.
The male enrollment figures are based on the number of students in grade 9, 10 and 11 as of October 31, 2018.
The Tomcats’ male enrollment increased from the 95 that was reported back on Oct. 31, 2016.
Trimble is one of three Athens County teams in Division VI. The Tomcats will most likely share a region with Nelsonville-York and Federal Hocking.
The Buckeyes’ male enrollment came in at 129, with a competitive balance number of three.
Federal Hocking’s enrollment number is 127, with a competitive balance number of two.
Belpre (enrollment of 133, competitive balance of four) will put four Tri-Valley Conference schools in Division VI.
Nelsonville-York, Federal Hocking and Belpre all competed in Division VI last season.
Athens and Alexander also remained in the same divisions.
Athens will remain in Division III. The Bulldogs have a male enrollment of 313, plus a competitive balance number of 11 for a final tally of 324.
Alexander will continue to compete in Division V. The Spartans have a male enrollment of 191, plus a competitive balance number of two.
Meigs dropped down to Division V. The Marauders final tally is 196 (188 enrollment plus competitive balance of eight).
The rest of the TVC remains the same. Vinton County will stay in Division IV. The Vikings have a male enrollment figure of 236, plus a competitive balance number of three.
Wellston and River Valley will all stay Division V schools.
Wellston’s final tally is 173 (166 enrollment, plus competitive balance of seven).
River Valley’s final tally is 203 (195 enrollment, plus competitive balance of eight).
There will be five TVC-Hocking teams in Division VII.
Eastern has an enrollment of 95, plus a competitive balance number of three.
Southern has an enrollment of 87, plus a competitive balance number of one.
Miller has an enrollment of 80, plus a competitive balance number of two.
Waterford has an enrollment of 77, plus a competitive balance number of 13.
South Gallia has an enrollment of 67, plus a competitive balance number of three.
Defending Division VII state champion McComb remained in Division VII. Notable teams to drop from Division VI to VII are Shadyside, Newark Catholic and Marion Local.
While Marion Local dropped to D-VII, fellow Midwest Athletic Conference foe Minster moved up to D-VI. Minster won state titles in 2014 and 2017.
A notable team to move up from Division VI to Division V is defending D-VI state champion Kirtland.
Nelsonville-York and Fort Frye — regional champions the previous two seasons — both lost to Kirtland in a Division VI state semifinal.