Since 1985, the Sto-Rox softball team has won one PIAA title and 10 WPIAL championships.
It won't have a chance to improve on those numbers next season.
As part of district-wide cuts that furloughed eight teaching jobs, the Sto-Rox school board announced Thursday evening the baseball and softball programs have been eliminated for the 2013-14 season. This is after the school board used almost $1.2 million in cash reserves to balance the budget for the 2013-14 school year.
"There are probably 35-40 kids who play softball or baseball and I feel for them, I really do," said Elizabeth Smith, president of the Sto-Rox school board. "But I have to be the advocate for 1,400 students, and we have 700 students who are losing their librarian. So some things have to be cut."
The school board voted 8-1 to eliminate the two programs.
Sto-Rox baseball coach Dave Rugh knows money is tight within the district, but he and softball coach Bill Palermo don't think cutting sports is the answer.
"It's tough on the children," Rugh said. "Sports keep kids out of trouble. This is a distressed area and if we can just save one kid, it's worth it.
"I can see the money aspect of it, but we had no input on the matter."
In addition to being the Sto-Rox baseball coach, Rugh is a McKees Rocks councilman and president of Sto-Rox Little League.
Rugh said the board never approached the council about finding financial backing, nor did it ask the little league for relief in the funds it pays to use the little league fields during the season.
"They already had their mind made up," Rugh said. "I've been involved in baseball in the area for 25 years and the last three as varsity head coach. I know a lot of backers who could have helped out. If they couldn't find the money and wanted to still use our fields, we could have worked something out. But they never came to us. It was never done."
Smith was surprised by Rugh's comments.
"I'm shocked, actually, that he said that," Smith said. "But if Mr. Rugh knows someone that is able to fund both the baseball and softball programs, then that would be great."
Bill Minear, who was the boys basketball coach and athletic director until resigning after the 2012-13 school year, said the entire athletic budget last year was close to $190,000 and that cutting baseball and softball will save no more than $25,000.
Those numbers have Palermo, the winningest softball coach in Pennsylvania history, questioning why only two sports were cut.
"If you're going to take that approach, then cut all the sports and that money could help save three teachers," said Palermo, who resigned in June after 35 years on the job. "Now I don't think that's the right way to go either, because I know the importance of athletics."
Smith said the board did discuss eliminating the entire athletic department but some board members did not want to make that drastic of a change at this time.
Instead, one boys and one girls program were cut to keep in line with Title IX.
Now, the returning Sto-Rox baseball and softball players will have to find somewhere else to play.
If another school decides to co-op with Sto-Rox, the accommodating school would have to add the boys enrollment (for baseball) or girls enrollment (for softball) to their own, which could force the accommodating school to move up in classification.
Smith said she has talked with the school's acting superintendent, Frank Dalmas, about talking with Cornell in the near future about the possibility of Sto-Rox's players playing for the Raiders. The other options would be for players to move, go to private school or not play.
"And that's what really hurts," Rugh said. "I couldn't care less about my job. What I really care about are the kids. Parents have come up to me and asked me, 'What's my kid going to do now?' It hurts me a lot."