Two weeks before the first high school football game of the 2015 season, the Ohio High School Athletic Association finally has its regional tournament alignments in order.

Two weeks before the first high school football game of the 2015 season, the Ohio High School Athletic Association finally has its regional tournament alignments in order.

On Aug. 13, the OHSAA released the enrollment numbers for its member schools for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.

The announcement comes seven days after the OHSAA ruled to eliminate community school students from the enrollment counts of schools throughout the state, a decision that forced it to revise all divisional assignments for every sport.

The decision to recalculate was deemed a positive by many coaches, particularly those in Columbus City Schools, the district that would have been affected the most by the addition of community school students to enrollment numbers.

"For me, it's just about what's fair to the kids, and there's already a lot of inequity," Walnut Ridge football coach Byron Mattox said. "We just want the field to be somewhat level."

Based on the new enrollment figures for football, schools with a boys enrollment of 581 or more will compete in Division I. Schools with 361-580 will be in Division II, followed by 257-360 for Division III, 186-256 for Division IV, 144-185 for Division V, 100-143 for Division VI and 99 or fewer for Division VII.

Africentric, which would have been in Division IV despite having an official enrollment of 89 boys, moves back to Division VII where it was a year ago.

Beechcroft (322) and Marion-Franklin (312) were scheduled to go up two divisions but instead are moving up from Division IV to Division III.

Mifflin (565) and Northland (512), both of which would have been in Division I, will be joined in Division II by Briggs (452), Walnut Ridge (481) and Columbus West (364).

Centennial (304), Eastmoor Academy (282), Independence (311), Linden-McKinley (289), Marion-Franklin (312), Columbus South (318) and Whetstone (353) all will compete in Division III and Columbus East (242) will play in Division IV.

In summer 2014, a state law was enacted allowing students who attend community or STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) schools to participate in sports at the public school they would attend based on their residence.

On June 8, the OHSAA announced that students who attend community schools would be included in enrollment counts.

According to numbers provided by the Ohio Department of Education, Columbus City Schools has 1,936 boys and 2,091 girls who attend community schools. Those totals were divided equally among the 16 CCS high schools that have sports, adding 121 boys and 131 girls to each school's enrollment.

Because of those additions, 14 of the 15 City football teams were to have moved up at least one division and nearly all boys and girls basketball teams were to have moved up to Division I.

These changes were enacted despite the fact that during the 2014-15 school year, only about 20 community school students played sports on a CCS team.

On Aug. 4, the Columbus Board of Education and Superintendent Dan Good discussed filing a lawsuit against the OHSAA because of how it placed CCS teams in tournament divisions.

The OHSAA board of directors ruled two days later that it would continue to study the issue of how to include the enrollment of community school students in enrollment figures.

"This is a new issue we now have to address, and (it) has many ramifications," OHSAA commissioner Dan Ross said in a press release Aug. 6.

Other football teams affected by the latest divisional alignment include Westerville South (592) and Licking Heights (366).

Westerville South had been placed in Division II when divisional alignments were announced in June but now will compete in Division I, Region 1. A year ago, the Wildcats were in Division I, Region 2.

Licking Heights was set to move from Division II to Division III but instead will remain in Division II.