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Four undefeated Cincinnati-area football teams earned No. 1 seeds in OHSAA regional tournaments

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Posted at 1:30 PM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 20:01:31-04

CINCINNATI — Four undefeated Cincinnati-area high school football teams earned No. 1 seeds in their respective tournament regions Thursday afternoon.

Lakota West (Division I, Region 4), Winton Woods (Division II, Region 8), Clinton-Massie (Division IV, Region 16) and Roger Bacon (Division V, Region 20) earned the top seeds as the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced brackets and the first-round schedule for the upcoming postseason, which starts Oct. 9.

"I think it's a testament to how hard our kids work from last season to this season," Lakota West coach Tom Bolden told the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown.

"How well they dealt with how weird of a year that we got with COVID and everything else. And how they did with quarantine and things like that. It's flattering and we're excited."

Roger Bacon (5-0) earned its first No. 1 seed since 1997 – the same year of its first playoff appearance, according to Roger Bacon assistant athletic director Brandon Spaeth.

"It's awesome," Roger Bacon coach Mike Blaut said. "The kids are pumped."

After narrowly missing the postseason in 2019, Winton Woods (5-0) is back in the playoffs as a No. 1 seed.

Winton Woods will host either No. 16 seed New Carlisle Tecumseh (2-3) or No. 17 Xenia (1-4) on Oct. 16 at Charlie Fredrick Stadium.

"We are very blessed to receive the No. 1 seed," Winton Woods coach Andre Parker said. "I'm happy for the young men – they deserve this. They have been a joy to coach and work with the entire year. I like how they have handled themselves. The team has been waiting and preparing for this for a whole year. We have been working to give ourselves this opportunity."

Divisions I, II, III and VII will have football games on Friday (starting Oct. 9) throughout the playoffs. Divisions IV, V and VI will play on Saturday (starting Oct. 10). All games kick off at 7 p.m.

For each game through at least the regional semifinals, the higher-seeded team will have the first opportunity to host the game. If the higher-seeded team cannot host, the other team will host the game.

The OHSAA will determine sites for the regional finals, state semifinals and state championships. If a team is unable to play a playoff game on the assigned day according to the bracket, its opponent will advance on the bracket.

The Division I state final is scheduled for Nov. 13. The Divisions II-VII state finals will be played within a date range of Nov. 19-22.

The OHSAA said sites for the state football finals will be announced at a later date, but it is unlikely that all seven games will be played at the same venue. There will be no state championship games that happen simultaneously, as each game will have its own time slot.

Some Divisions II-VII teams will receive a bye due to the number of teams entered in the postseason and those are listed on the brackets.

"We are very blessed to receive the No. 1 seed," Winton Woods coach Andre Parker said. "I'm happy for the young men – they deserve this. They have been a joy to coach and work with the entire year. I like how they have handled themselves. The team has been waiting and preparing for this for a whole year. We have been working to give ourselves this opportunity."

Here are a few other highlights:

  • Lakota West (4-0) was the unanimous No. 1 seed in Region 4. The Firebirds play host to Mason (4-1) for an outright Greater Miami Conference championship this Friday night. The Firebirds have outscored their opponents 104-20 this season.
  • Hamilton (3-2) plays host to Moeller (1-4) on Oct. 9. It is the first time in Hamilton program history that the Big Blue have hosted a playoff game, according to the athletic department. "It's special," Hamilton coach Nate Mahon said. "I wish we would've used Joe Eitel's rankings. But, yes, it's special for sure."
  • The Sycamore at Lakota East game Oct. 9 is a rematch of the season opener when the host Aviators won 34-31 on Aug. 28.
  • Four undefeated teams are in Division IV, Region 16 including Clinton-Massie, Indian Hill, Wyoming and Waverly. Wyoming has a 46-game regular-season winning streak. Wyoming and Indian Hill have an opportunity to share the Cincinnati Hills League title this weekend.

This weekend (Oct. 1-3) is the final week of the regular season.

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This is the first time since 1972 that all Ohio teams were eligible for the postseason instead of using the computer points system or what is sometimes commonly referred to as the Harbin computer points.

The change was brought on by the shortened regular season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools eliminated from the OHSAA playoffs or that choose not to enter the OHSAA playoffs will have the option to schedule additional regular-season contests through Nov. 14, with a maximum of 10 regular-season contests permitted.

The OHSAA said information on tickets for football tournament games will be emailed to athletic administrators by the end of this week with policies in place to ensure players' families are given priority. The first-round tickets go on sale Oct. 6.

The OHSAA said 648 schools will take part in the 2020 football postseason. In 2019, there were 709 schools in Ohio that played 11-person football.