Over the course of almost 90 years, the enrollment figures used to determine what classification a school was placed have changed quite often. The OHSAA started its state tournament with 2 classes in 1923, and it stayed that way until 1970, when 3 classes were introduced. The 3 class system lasted until 1988, when the decision was made to have a 4 division state tournament. Portsmouth High School’s enrollment has changed quite drastically over the last 40 years. 1978 marked the first year for the Trojans in Class AA, which was the middle of the 3 class system. Portsmouth had an enrollment of 369 boys, which was just under the cutoff of 377 for Class AAA. The Trojans won the state championship in their first year in their new classification. In 1988, when the OHSAA introduced a 4 division system, the enrollment guidelines were once again friendly to the Trojans. Division I schools in 1988 were classified as such if they had an enrollment of 427 or higher. Portsmouth High School had an enrollment of 425 boys, which was just 2 under the Division I cutoff. PHS won the very first Division 2 state championship that year.
Just 2 years later, the Trojans played in the 1990 Division II state championship game, losing to Dayton Colonel White 71-57. PHS had an enrollment in 1990 of 341, down 84 boys from the 1988 enrollment of 425. The D2 range that year was 227-393. Portsmouth’s enrollment has continued a steady decline since 1990. PHS first became a D3 school in 2002, and returned to D3 in 2004 after 1 year in D2 in 2003. The 2011 Final 4 team came from an enrollment of 204, while in 2012 an enrollment of 179 produced the Trojans State Runnerup team. Currently, PHS has a D3 enrollment of 187 which makes it the 4th largest school in its new Ohio Valley Conference, with Rock Hill, Fairland, and South Point all being slightly larger.
The OHSAA for many years classified schools each year by enrollment figures. Now the schools are classified every 2 years. The cutoff for D2 changes virtually every time the classifications are made. The current D2 cutoff is 215 boys. New classifications should be coming out after this school year.