The June 30 deadline for acceptance into the All-American Conference has expired, and the new league will feature 20 teams.
Boardman, Brookfield, Edgewood, Warren Harding, and Youngstown East will be the five newest members. The only school to turn down the invitation is Pymatuning Valley.
The new conference setup will feature three tiers (Red, White, and Blue), starting with the six biggest schools (Austintown Fitch, Boardman, Canfield, Howland, Warren Harding and Youngstown East in Red) and then followed by two tiers of seven schools.
The White tier will feature Edgewood, Hubbard, Jefferson, Lakeview, Niles, Poland and Struthers.
The Blue tier will consist of Brookfield, Campbell, Champion, Girard, LaBrae, Liberty, Newton Falls.
Football will be broken down into four tiers, with Fitch, Boardman, and Warren Harding headlining the upper tier, and Howland Canfield and East rounding out the next.
According to AAC Commissioner Rick King, Niles and Poland will serve as “swing” schools, competing in two tiers and therefore eligible for two separate conference titles each football season.
A meeting on August 1 will help finalize and the new tier structure and help plan entry for the new schools.
This year’s expansion may not be the end, either. Both Massillon Washington and Steubenville have expressed interest in joining the league for football only in the top tier. Their application will be re-evaluated for 2015.