Pickerington Central has missed the playoffs just once in 16 seasons since its school district split in 2003 and has made 13 consecutive postseason appearances.
Dublin Coffman has been just as consistent, advancing to the playoffs in all but two of the last 18 seasons, including each of the past 10.>> Ultimate Talent: Versatile players spur game-plan innovations <<
Those two programs annually attract the attention of college recruiters as well, and this year is no exception, considering both have multiple players who are being recruited by major college teams.
It isn't something that the Tigers talk much about, though.
"Really, we don't think about it," said senior quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw, who is considered a three-star recruit and has received multiple Football Bowl Subdivision scholarship offers. "We're just sticking together and want to win games for each other. We're not all star-struck."
Also for the Tigers, senior Ty Hamilton is an Ohio State commit, senior Abraham Alabi has offers from some major and numerous mid-major programs and junior Lorenzo Styles Jr. is considered a four-star prospect who should end up at a major program.
Both of Coffman's top college prospects have garnered the attention of scouts throughout the country, but neither had committed heading into August.
Mike Drennen is one of the most versatile seniors in the nation and will end up being one of the final top recruits to commit from the 2020 class after paring down his list to 10 schools over the summer.
From the 2021 class, junior A.J. Kirk projects as one of the nation's best defensive backs, further attracting attention to the Shamrocks' program.
"It's good for our program and good for our kids, especially to have that opportunity after high school to further themselves not only for football, but educationally," said Mark Crabtree, who is in his 19th season as coach at Coffman. "I think the excitement and energy level and things like that are second to none when it comes to high school football. They're just excited to be able to play the game."
Below is a look at some of the area's top players, by position:
*QUARTERBACK -- Crenshaw's reputation grew when he scored six touchdowns in the Tigers' Division I state championship game win in 2017 and he added to that with his dual-threat skills last season as he produced 19 touchdowns through the air and ground combined.
Other Division I quarterbacks who return after having solid seasons last year include Reynoldsburg senior Michael Whatley and Delaware junior Blake Eiland.
The City League's top returning quarterback may be junior Jaylen Gilbert, who helped Centennial go 7-3 as he passed for 14 touchdowns and rushed for nine scores.
There should be strong play at this position in the CCL, which features Hartley's Miles Fleming, DeSales' Reno Godfrey and Watterson's Jacob Hoying. Fleming is a Minnesota commit.
Columbus Academy's Brady Hess is coming off a season in which he threw 21 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
*RUNNING BACK -- With seniors Jalan January and Jack Foley among its returnees, the CCL looks deep at running back.
Last season, January scored 20 touchdowns as Hartley went 9-3 and Foley rushed for 18 scores for Ready, giving new coach Joel Cutler a starting point on offense.
Another running back from the CCL who could make an impact is Watterson's Tommy Bair, who had more than 1,000 all-purpose yards last season.
If Foley isn't the area's best Division V running back, then that distinction could belong to West Jefferson's Gabe Jones, who scored 22 touchdowns last year while helping the Roughriders go 8-3.
Drennen figures to split time at a number of positions, including running back, after scoring 15 touchdowns last season.
Hilliard Darby's Connor Jones, Upper Arlington's Chris Schweisthal, Groveport's Jalil Underdown and Jashaun McGraw, Walnut Ridge's Javarus Leach and Canal Winchester's Stephan Byrd are other impact returnees.
*WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END -- Pickerington North senior Chris Scott and Grandview senior Luke Lachey lead this group.
Scott has nearly a dozen scholarship offers after having 52 receptions for 793 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, while Lachey is an Iowa commit who projects as a tight end at the college level but likely will spend much of his time at wide receiver for the Bobcats.
Northland senior Kalil Branham spent last season at quarterback but is expected to see most of his time at wide receiver after scoring seven touchdowns at that position in 2017.
Styles could end up making his biggest impact on defense for Pickerington Central, but he, too, should be in a position to make plays at wide receiver.
Dublin Scioto's Tobias Thomas and Whitehall's Christian Gordon are other top returnees at wide receiver and Walnut Ridge's Jerrell Harrison returns at tight end.
*OFFENSIVE/DEFENSIVE LINE -- Groveport's Terah Edwards (Northwestern), Licking Heights' Reid Holskey (Miami University) and Olentangy Liberty's Ben Wrather (Northwestern) are among the seniors who already have committed to play collegiately as offensive linemen.
Seniors Jacob Curl (Hilliard Bradley), Scott Hartline (Darby), A'che Sanchez-Baccus (Gahanna) and Nick Sands (Hilliard Davidson) provide experience on the offensive line as their respective teams look to build on playoff seasons.
On the defensive front, Pickerington North junior Jack Sawyer, an Ohio State commit, is ranked among the top competitors in the nation at end.
Also on defense, Davidson's Gage Keys has committed to Minnesota, Pickerington Central's Abraham Alabi has been offered by Kentucky and several mid-majors, Bradley's Chris Mayfield is a Michigan State commit and DeSales' Cole Potts has committed to James Madison.
Other standouts on the defensive line include Groveport's Jasiyah Robinson, who was second-team all-district in Division I last season, and Canal Winchester's Michael Wilson, who was second-team all-district in Division II.
Hartley's Daniel Tooson and Reynoldsburg's Keyshaun Slaughter are two of the area's top sophomores on the defensive line.
*LINEBACKER -- Hamilton had a strong junior season for Pickerington Central last fall and could contribute either on the line or at linebacker.
His teammate, senior Dom Marasco, was the Tigers' leading tackler a year ago.
Olentangy Orange senior Zach Hill should be among his team's top defenders after making second-team all-district.
Westerville Central's Zeke Healy, Bradley's Zach Komlosi, Delaware's Sebastian Meehan, Dublin Jerome's Dominic Nardonne, Olentangy Liberty's Dylan Stevens and Coffman's Devon Williams are other big-school talents.
DeSales' Quintell Quinn and Hartley's Mason Sawyer are among the top linebackers in the CCL.
*SECONDARY -- Kirk and Styles are among the highest profile athletes in the defensive backfield along with Westerville Central senior Rickey Hyatt, who was second-team all-district last season.
Two others from Coffman to watch include senior Cam Kirk and junior Bryon Threats, and Westerville Central
has another strong defensive back in senior Myles William-son.
Walnut Ridge senior Qian Magwood is one of the best athletes in the City League and figures to stand out at both wide receiver and in the secondary.
Central Crossing senior Anthony Lowe, who had seven interceptions last season, made second-team all-district in Division I a year ago, as did Lancaster senior Max Hamilton and Thomas Worthington junior Sheron Phipps.
Whitehall's Melvin Tinsley was a first-team all-district selection in Division II and Granville's Bo Buttermore and Centennial's Syquee Womack were first-team all-district in Division III.
*SPECIAL TEAMS -- Davidson has had numerous solid kickers in recent years, including senior Sean Carrier, who made special mention all-district last season.
The OCC-Ohio Division has a trio of experienced returning kickers in Pickerington Central's Drew Bookman, Reynoldsburg's Cocy Goff and Pickerington North's Tanner Pope.
Jacob Lewis was a second-team all-district kicker in Division II last season for Olentangy Berlin during its inaugural season.
Liberty's Corbin Parrish, Groveport's Austin Snyder and Worthington Kilbourne's Mitchell Tomasek should
be among the area's top punters.
Academy's Sam Massick made 10 field goals and averaged 48.3 yards per punt last season and was a first-team all-state honoree at kicker in Division V.