"Ellwood City's first appearance in the WPIAL title game or PIAA playoffs since 2003 very well could have happened last season, instead that didn't happen until Wednesday when they faced neighboring rival Riverside for the Class AA championship.
For the Wolverines, it was worth the wait.
Ellwood City went 15-5 overall and 10-4 in Section 5-AA play in 2011. Those types of records almost always are good enough to be among the WPIAL elite. They're often the stuff of a top-five seed in the WPIAL playoffs.
But by reasons of quirky circumstance, that wasn't even good enough to get the Wolverines into the postseason last year.
"We kind of wondered what might have been," said Jeff Fotia, who is in his third season back as Ellwood City's coach following a prior tenure of 1994-2005."