This time, the Trimble Tomcats find themselves on the right side of the cut-off line.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced divisional assignments for football, soccer and volleyball on Thursday for the 2020-21 school year.
The biggest change for local teams is Trimble sliding back down to Division VII, after one year competing in Division VI.
The Tomcats still have the same enrollment figures as a year ago, but the number separating the two divisions went up for 2020.
The OHSAA used the same base enrollment number from the ODE’s Education Management Information System when determining divisions. It’s the second year of the two-year cycle using those base enrollment numbers provided in October 2018. A new two-year cycle of base enrollment numbers will begin with the 2021-22 school year.
However, the competitive balance number changes from year to year, which impacted Trimble’s move to Division VII. Trimble’s base enrollment is 113, with a competitive balance number of six for a total of 119.
That total has Trimble as the one of the biggest Division VII schools, as 121 represents the largest D-VII team.
The OHSAA went to seven divisions for the postseason in 2013, and the 2019 year is the only time the Tomcats were slotted in Division VI.
Trimble went 10-0 in the regular season, outscoring teams 448-6. The Tomcats beat Salineville Southern 26-14 in an opening round playoff game before losing to Springfield 20-19 in a Region 21 semifinal.
Springfield eventually advanced to the Division VI state championship game before losing to Anna, 48-14.
Trimble played in the Division VII state championship games in both 2013 and 2018, winning Region 27 championships both seasons.
The Tomcats will return to their familiar stomping grounds of Region 27 for the 2020 season. Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division teams Eastern, Miller, Southern and Waterford are also in Region 27.
Trimble’s week 11 opponent, Salineville Southern, also drops to Division II but will compete in Region 25.
Defending Division VII state champion Marion Local remains in Division VII, Region 28.
Nelsonville-York remains in Division VI. The Buckeyes’ base enrollment of 129 adds a competitive balance number of five, for a total of 134.
The Buckeyes competed in the same region as Trimble last year — Region 21 — but return to a more familiar Region 23 in 2020. N-Y won the region in 2017.
Nelsonville-York is joined in the region by Southeast District teams Belpre, Coal Grove, Southeastern, Symmes Valley and Lucasville Valley. Fort Frye also remains in Division VI, but also moves to Region 21 to Region.
Athens remains in Division III, Region 11. The Bulldogs have a competitive balance number of 16, giving them a total number of 329.
Athens will again have to deal with a number of Central Ohio teams in a quest to return to the playoffs. Defending Region 11 champion Hartley remains in Division III thanks to a competitive balance number of 69.
St. Francis DeSales has a competitive balance number of 72, but it’s just low enough to drop it back to Division III, after a season competing in Division II. The Stallions will also compete in Region 11 as will teams like Jackson, Tri-Valley, Zanesville, Jonathan Alder, Chillicothe, Beechcroft and Bishop Watterson, to name a few.
Alexander remains in Division V, Region 19. The Spartans’ completive balance number of four gives them a final enrollment tally of 195.
TVC-Ohio teams Meigs, River Valley and Wellston are also Region 19, as is defending regional champion Ironton.
Federal Hocking, a Division VI, Region 21 team last year, wasn’t listed in the assignments. The Lancers had to end their 2019 season after six games due to low numbers.
Athens remains in Division II for both boys and girls soccer.
Alexander remains Division II in boys soccer, and Division III in girls soccer.
Athens also remains in Division II for volleyball. Alexander, Nelsonville-York and Federal Hocking remain Division III in volleyball and Trimble remains in Division IV.