Class of 2015
KELLY DeMELLO, Class of 1994
DeMello never took a season off, and her coaches would tell you Durfee’s 1994 female athlete of the year never took a game off. Combining athleticism with a fiery competitive spirit, she became an all star in field hockey and basketball. A center halfback in field hockey, DeMello was a two-time Big 3 Conference all star who, as a senior registered 10 goals and 5 assists and was named second team all state. On the basketball court, she was also a four-year varsity player. An off-guard who fearlessly attacked the basket, she was a Big 3 all star and in her senior year scored a team-high 11.6 points per game with 7.7 steals, 6.3 steals and 11.5 assists. As a junior, she scored 11.3 ppg. in helping the Hilltoppers to the Division 1 South final. A four-year softball team member and a three-year starter, she helped Durfee to two league titles and a berth in the Division 1 South finals in 1993. DeMello moved onto Bridgewater State College where she played four years of basketball, scoring more than 1,000 points. She lives in Westport and is the mother of five.
JOHN SANTOS, Class of 1972
Long before his very successful tenure as Durfee High School’s boys’ soccer coach, Santos built a hall of fame resume as a player. A three-year varsity player (the high school then was sophomore through senior only) for coach Skip Karam, Santos played with intensity, speed, and considerable smarts. A two-time league all star and captain and MVP his senior year, Santos in 1971 broke the school record with 22 goals. Santos followed with a fine playing career at Southeastern Massachusetts University. He returned to coach Durfee for a decade with his teams posting a combined record of 122 wins, 41 losses, and 31 ties and qualifying for the playoffs 10 times. His 1988 team was undefeated in the regular season, posting 13 shutouts in 18 games. Known as the area’s best dressed soccer coach during his tenure, Santos has been inducted into both the New England Soccer Hall of Fame and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Soccer Officials Association Hall of Fame. A resident of Fall River, a husband, and father, Santos has refereed soccer for the last 20 years.
RICHARD YARBOUGH, Class of 1978
It was on the baseball diamond and basketball court where the powerful and athletic 6-foot-1 Yarbough made his mark at Durfee, after a concussion limited him to one year of football. A superb catcher for coach Skip Lewis, Yarbough exploded onto the varsity team by batting.409 his sophomore year. That was second best on a very good team. After his solid Durfee career, Yarbough played two years for the University of Southern California, arguably the top college baseball program of the 20th century. Yarbough was also part of two great Durfee basketball teams. He was a sixth man in 1977 when the Hilltoppers went 26-0 to win the state title. The next season, he was the undersized center, scoring 10.7 points per game (tied for third best on team) as the Hilltoppers came within one win of a second straight state crown. Owner of a bachelor of science degree from USC and a masters from Arizona State University, Yarbough lives in Glendale, Arizona and is the Vice President/Administrator of Pilgrim Rest Foundation, Inc. He has been married to Desiree Yarbough for 29 years and has three children, Tera, Danielle, and Richard.
1998 SOFTBALL TEAM, Division 1 state champions
After dropping their final two games of the regular season, the Hilltoppers got down to business, rattling off six straight wins to claim the school’s first softball state title. Buoyed the sophomore battery of pitcher Kelly Orton and catcher Jessica Bigos, the Hilltoppers won the South, beating Somerset 3-1 in the final. Somerset and Durfee had split in the regular season. In a dramatic state semifinal, the Hilltoppers faced undefeated Woburn and star pitcher Liz Nadeau and won 1-0 in 12 innings. They took down Holy Name 3-0 in the state final to finish the season 21-5.
Front row: Jamie Fereira, Denise Souza, Paula Costa, Nicole Gendreau, Stephanie Menard, Melissa Casavant, Amy Napert
Back row: Jessica Bigos, Kelly Orton, Liz Silvia, Alisha LaFrance, Megan DeNardo, Carissa Fitzgerald, Kathy Ward, Rochelle Lavoie, Coach Steve Winarski