A year ago, Beaver Area advanced to the playoffs in Class AAA but realignment moved them to Class AA this year. Normally, such a move would make a team a favorite but the Bobcats were moving into Section 5-AA with defending WPIAL Class AA Champ Ellwood City, defending WPIAL Class A champ Neshannock, and defending PIAA Class AA champ Riverside, so nothing could be taken for granted.
The Bobcats, though, did earn a playoff spot and could yet earn the top seed from the section. A key ingredient in that success has been senior righthander Austin Ross and Ross tuned up for the playoffs with a no-hitter against Laurel, winning 11-1. In the five-inning no-hitter, Ross struck out five and walked one and had a single and a double at the plate.