This sentence surprised me.
According to the Ohio High School Athletic Association, the number of schools sponsoring football in the past decade effectively stayed steady (720 in 2008-09, up from 708 in 1998-99) but the number of students playing football rose by 30 percent to more than 55,000.
It's not just population decreases. In my hometown area of Central Ohio, voters vote down most tax levies. So many districts there have been forced to go with pay-to-play, which has cut the number of kids going out for football. Some once-strong programs there are now struggling to win 3 games a season. There are definitely fewer kids in that area playing football. It must not be that way all over the state.