St. Marys Moves Back To D-III Football

By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Sports Editor

After two years of enjoying football at the Division IV level, St. Marys is back to playing Division III.

The changes stem the school's enrollment, which was released Tuesday by the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) as part of its football school division assignments.

St. Marys' enrollment slightly dropped for the 2017-18 school year to bump it down to a Division IV program — the lowest division in the program's history. Last month, the OHSAA released enrollment numbers and St. Marys' had increased to 285 — which was the threshold between D-III and IV schools in the OHSAA's division breakdown two years ago — from 277.

The OHSAA's new divisional breakdown have not been released yet.

"It will just make our challenge tougher to maintain our success," Roughriders coach Doug Frye said in a text message Tuesday afternoon. "We are working hard and look forward to the challenge."

The OHSAA makes divisional changes every two years based on a school's ninth to 12th-grade boys or girls enrollment numbers and the OHSAA's competitive balance formula.

As a Division IV school, St. Marys earned more points when it defeated schools at a higher division, such as Division II Sidney last season or Division III Wapakoneta two years ago in a 10-0 season-finale win. In the postseason, St. Marys saw other schools, such as Highland, Orange Pepper Pike, Shelby, Clear Fork and Wyoming. The Roughriders were 24-4 overall, including postseason, as a Division IV team.

The last time the Roughriders played in the Division III postseason was in 2016 when they finished as regional runners-up to Trotwood-Madison. In Division IV last season, St. Marys won its first regional title in 14 years after routing Clear Fork.

Minster football is also moving up a division from VII to VI. 

The Wildcats — a Division VII program the last four years — moved up a Division because of increased enrollment. The school's enrollment increased by five students. The last time Minster was a  Division VI program was in 2014 when it won the state title against Kirtland.

In other Western Buckeye League schools, Bath has moved down from Division IV to Division V and Ottawa-Glandorf was bumped up from Division V to Division IV.

It is unclear if St. Marys is in the northern region or the southern region — which would stick the school back with Wapakoneta, Elida, Celina and Trotwood. That information will be available at a later date.

All divisional assignments for football can be found on the OHSAA's website. https://www.ohsaa.org/Sports-Tournaments/Football/Football-2019