If the playoffs started today, the Bulldogs would be in.
But it’s close.
The newest Ohio High School Athletic Association rankings were released Tuesday, and Athens moved up one spot from last week to seventh place in Division III Region 11. The top eight teams after Week 10 make the playoffs.
Of the six teams ahead of the Bulldogs (4-1, 2-0 Tri-Valley Conference), only three teams have better records.
Despite only having one loss, Athens can thank its weak schedule for its low ranking. Playoff rankings are configured through a point system that values wins over tough competition and teams from higher divisions, and Athens has one of the weakest schedules in Division III.
Athens has tried to strengthen its schedule, but it’s difficult to get tough teams to travel to Athens, and the Bulldogs aren’t trying to travel long distances in hopes of finding tough competition.
“When you get to look around southeast Ohio, go find me the Division III schools,” coach Ryan Adams said. “It’s a hard pick, and the other option is to go two and a half hours away to go find a ballgame.”
1. (Columbus) Eastmoor Academy (4-1)
2. Bellbrook (5-0)
tie-3. Thornville Sheridan (5-0)
tie-3. Hillsboro (5-0)
5. Granville (4-1)
6. (Columbus) Bishop Hartley (3-2)
7. Athens (4-1)
8. (Columbus) South (4-1)
9. (Columbus) Marion-Franklin (4-1)
10. Jackson (3-2)
11. (Columbus) St. Francis DeSales (3-2)
12. Zanesville (3-2)
Correction: A previous version of the photo caption incorrectly identified who was in the photo. The caption has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.