Class of 2016
DENEEN CLOUTIER, Class of 1983
She didn’t just excel in sports, she dazzled coaches, fans and foes with her grace and athleticism. For four years, she was a diver in the fall and a gymnast in the winter. Cloutier also competed in outdoor track and field her senior year. She was a two-time team MVP in gymnastics, won the gymnastics coach’s award in 1983, and also was selected winner of the Lillian Darmody Award, Karen A. Jarabek Memorial Award, and the WALE Spirit Award. In diving, she qualified for the state meet three times before budget cuts following the passage of Proposition 2 1/2 eliminated the states her senior year. In gymnastics, she was a three-time league all-star, two-time team leading point scorer, and two-time state meet qualifier. In her one season of track and field, Cloutier set four school records, led the team in scoring, was a league all star, and competed in the sectionals. At Clark University as a diver (1 meter and 3 meter), she became, as a freshman, the first diver in school history to qualify for nationals. She finished as high as 13th place nationally.
JULIE CARON, Class of 1996
An athlete for all season, and a very good one, Caron played four years of varsity softball, three years of varsity basketball, and two years of varsity volleyball, captaining all three sports her senior year and earning Herald News all-star honors in all three her junior and senior years. A four-year starter in softball, she batted .361 with a pair of triples as a junior after helping the Hilltoppers to the Division 1 South final one season earlier. In basketball, she started two years and, as a senior, averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds per game while shooting 75 percent from the foul line. Caron was named team MVP in all three sports her senior year. She followed with a spectacular college career at Pine Manor College, playing 12 varsity seasons. She was named the GNAC Athlete of the Year in 2000 and is in the Pine Manor Hall of Fame.
STEPHEN KERN, Class of 1985
One of the lethal hitters in Durfee’s rich baseball history, Kern led the Hilltoppers in batting (.417 both seasons) during his two varsity seasons, and he did it with power. In 1984, he belted two home runs and knocked in a team-high 15 runs. Opposing pitchers truly suffered in 1985 when Kern, a righthanded batter with frightening power to all fields, hit five home runs, four triples, and seven doubles, had seven multi-hit games and put together a 10-game hitting streak in helping Durfee to the Southeastern Massachusetts Conference Division 1 title. Teammates, coaches and fans who witnessed his mammoth home run in a dramatic second-round playoff loss at Boston College High still speak of the blast in awe. The SMC player of the year in ’85, Kern was drafted by the Detroit Tigers but opted to accept a scholarship to play at Division 1 UMass Amherst.
RICKY COLEMAN, Class of 1983
One of Durfee hockey’s first prolific scorers in hockey, Coleman was also a standout on the golf links. He played three years of varsity in both sports. In hockey, he finished with 96 career points, a late-season injury costing him the chance to reach 100. With Durfee competing in the Southeastern Massachusetts against hockey powers like Barnstable and Falmouth, Coleman in his senior year led the SMC with 22 goals and 24 assists. He remains Durfee’s only “Hockey Night in Boston” all scholastic selection. “Rick was a very unselfish player,” his hockey coach Jack Carey said. “Always a two-way player and was extremely coachable.” On the golf course, Coleman was team captain and MVP his senior year and named an SMC all star. Former Durfee golf coach Rick Roy rates Coleman in the top 10 percent of players in Roy’s 30 years. Coleman is a PGA Professional at New Seabury Country Club and Resorts in Mashpee.
KELLY ORTON, Class of 2000
The fiery Orton may be best described as an impact player. A four-year varsity pitcher in a very good softball program, she enjoyed remarkable success in the circle. During her career, Durfee won three Big 3 Conference championships, two South Sectional championships, and in 1998 the Massachusetts Division 1 championship. A multiple Herald News all-star, Orton, a righthander, was honored as a Boston Globe all-star in 1999. Orton also helped the Hilltoppers to the South Sectional final in 2000. In her senior year, she posted a 16-6 record with a 0.98 ERA while batting .405. For her career, she was 78-16 with a 1.53 ERA and 671 strikeouts and just 151 walks. The 1998 state championship was the first softball state title in school history.
JESSICA BIGOS, Class of 2000
The other half of Durfee’s softball’s great four-year battery, Bigos is fittingly remembered as one of the best catchers in school history. She was also a fine winter track and field athlete. On the softball diamond, she was a crucial part of the 1998 state championship and in 2000, her senior year, Bigos was named one of the Boston Globe’s Players of the Year after batting a Big 3 Conference-leading .536 with two home runs and 27 runs batted in. She earned a softball scholarship to the University of Connecticut. In winter track, Bigos ran relays and the 600 and threw the shot put and, in 1999, helped the Hilltoppers to their first Big 3 Conference championship.
PAUL PELOQUIN, Athletic Trainer
A member of Durfee’s 1971 state championship baseball team as well as a soccer goalkeeper in high school, Peloquin returned to his alma mater as a teacher and athletic trainer. A man for all seasons, and even offseasons when necessary, Peloquin oversaw the treatment of all sports injuries and the athlete’s rehabilitation and student athletes were always treated with the utmost respect and dignity as they progressed through their athletic seasons. His resume also includes stints as athletic trainer for Fall River Falcons Pop Warner Football and the Boston Breakers professional football team. The U.S. Olympic Committee selected him as a trainer for the 1983 Pan Am Games in Caracas, Venezuela and he was a trainer at for the National Sports Festival in Indianapolis. In 1980, he was awarded the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit for Saving a Life, the life of high school umpire who, at a Durfee baseball game, was struck in the throat with a pitch, causing his chew tobacco to block his breathing. The athletic training facility at Durfee is dedicated to Peloquin and Hall of Famer Dr. James Coleman.