PDT Sports Writer
The Ohio High School Athletic Association released the pairings Sunday for the 2012 high school playoffs in all six divisions.
For the final time before next year’s divisional realignment, 192 schools will be playing in the first week of the postseason. Of those participants, seven are area schools. Divisions II, IV and VI will play the next five Fridays while Divisions I, III and V are all slated for Saturday starts with the higher seeds getting first round home games and all games starting in the regional semifinals at neutral sites.
In Division V, Region 19, SOC II champion Valley (10-0) is the headlining school as the Indians are the top seed in the region. For the second time this season, Valley will take on OVC champion Coal Grove in what will be the Hornets’ 10th trip into the playoffs and third in four seasons. On Sept. 7, the two teams shared the same exact field with the Indians grabbing the 34-18 win.
The Purple and Gold are making their seventh postseason appearance in school history. Last year, Valley had its best season in school history, finishing 12-1 and as a Region 19 Finalist.
Also in Region 19, SOC I champion Oak Hill (8-2) has the second seed in the region and will host No. 7 Jeromesville Hillsdale (7-3). This is the Oaks third trip in four years after missing out last season. For the Falcons, it is also their third appearance in school history with all of them coming in the past four seasons as last year, they failed to qualify.
The region has a second SOC II team as runner-up Wheelersburg (8-2) enters its 24th postseason campaign as the No. 3 seed. The Pirates will host No. 6 Baltimore Liberty Union (8-2).
The Lions, in for the fourth time in school history, finished second in the Mid-State League Cardinal Division behind undefeated Pataskala Licking Heights. The Hornets are a No. 6 seed in Division II, Region 7.
Division IV, Region 15 also has three area programs among its top eight. For the 30th time No. 2 Ironton (7-2) is in the playoffs, but its first appearance under coach Mark Vass. The Fighting Tigers host No. 7 Bloom-Carroll (5-5). The Bulldogs are one of four teams from the Mid-State League Buckeye Division to be in Week 11 and are 0-1 from their only playoff appearance in 2000.
While Coal Grove-Valley is one area rematch of a regular season contest from this season, a second takes place when No. 5 Piketon (8-2) travels to No. 4 Minford (8-2). The Redstreaks, runners-up in the SVC, are in the playoffs for the second time in school history with the other prior berth coming in 1997.
The Falcons, third in the SOC II, will be making their eighth trek towards a state title and first since 2010. It’s the fifth playoff appearance for Minford in the last six seasons. These two teams also met Sept. 7 as the visiting Falcons needed a late rally to hand Piketon its first loss in a 19-14 decision.
Lastly, Symmes Valley (8-2) will go on the road as a No. 5 seed in Division VI Region 23 and face No. 4 Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans (7-3). The Vikings, runners-up in the SOC I, have made nine prior postseason trips before this season which includes the current, four-year streak.
The Bishops are 1-5 in their prior appearances into the playoffs.They come out of the East Central Ohio League.
A list of the OHSAA brackets, region-by-region, can be found here. Unless noted, all Friday contests up through the state semifinals will be slated to start at 7:30 p.m. while Saturday’s games will have a 7 p.m. kickoff.
The six state championships will be played throughout the course of Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium and Canton Fawcett Stadium. The six state championships will go as follows:
- Division VI — 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 30 at Massillon
- Division V — 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 at Massillon
- Division IV — 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30 at Canton
- Division III — 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 at Canton
- Division II — 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30 at Massillon
- Division I — 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 at Canton.
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 242, or firstname.lastname@example.org.