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  • Writer's pictureFred

North Ridgeville's Historic Run

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

My son plays an instrument in the local High School marching band. This is his Senior year and we have enjoyed his many musical performances.


Along the way, I followed his football team's athletic performance. This year, the North Ridgeville Rangers were "historically" good, hosting, and winning, their first home playoff game with a 7-3 record.


If you look at the fine print though....


In Ohio, there are about 700 football teams spread out across 7 divisions. Division I for the largest schools, Division VII for the smallest. North Ridgeville currently plays in Division II. Now throughout my life, Divisions, Regions, and the number of playoff teams in Ohio have all expanded.


So with the exception of the first Covid Season where all teams participated in the "playoffs," (for one year, the term playoffs basically meant extra games for bad teams,) the last 2 seasons have featured the largest playoff pools in state history.


Right now, there are 7 divisions with 4 regions in each. The top 16 teams in each region make the playoffs. Quick math reveals that the expanded playoffs allows 448 slots for 709 teams. Meaning that RIdgeville's first home playoff game translated into being one of the best 224 teams in the state.


Uh, they've been that good in the past, the playoff tentacles just didn't reach out that far.


Now don't get me wrong, the Rangers' football season was a nice story, but they finished the season:

#148 in Ohio

#32 in Division II

#6 in Region 6


All things that may have been done before, depending on how you want to interpret evolving stats.


 

Back in 1987, North Ridgeville had one of the best football teams in Division I. When local outlets brag about the prowess of the 2023 team, they mean the best football team in the google era. Well, probably. North Ridgeville was 8-2 in the 2011 season, but didn't make the Division I playoffs. Demario McCall's Junior season in 2015 produced a matching 7-3 record, but the team lost in the first round of the playoffs. This year's team did not have a generational talent like McCall. Records are very dicey before the year 2000.


You know who's living their best life in 2023? Avon Football. One city over, my employer, the Avon City Schools, advanced to the State Final 4 in Division II for the 5th time in 7 years. Each of those 5 years, Avon lost to Hoban and was ranked in the Top 20 in the state. They do not mess around when it comes to football in Avon.


But very quietly, North Ridgeville SOCCER went 16-0-0. It was their best record in history. At the end of the season they were ranked eighth in Division I soccer in Ohio. Sadly, they were upset in the third game of the playoffs by Copley.


We were at the home playoff game in football, nearly 5,000 people attended. There was a large student contingent, cheerleaders, the band, and casual fans in attendance.


I read about the home playoff game in soccer, a couple hundred people attended, mostly friends and family.


History, even on the local level, is really an interpretation of how much work a local writer wants to put into research--


Hey lazy Fred Hunt, you didn't even mention North Ridgeville's State Championship in SKEET last year!


<<sigh>>






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