Class of 2022


J. BRYAN PALUMBO, Class of 1985

Luke Urban – namesake of Durfee’s Field House – was an amazingly versatile athlete. If he had coached in the mid-1980s, he certainly would have taken a liking to Bryan Palumbo. Palumbo starred in his career as a Hilltopper across three different sports. During the fall, he starred on offense, defense and special teams as a member of the Durfee football team before lacing up his skates to join the Hilltoppers as a member of the hockey squad in the winter season. When the weather turned warm, he hit the track as a versatile multi-event point scorer. The only consistency for Palumbo from season to season was his level of excellence. He ultimately earned 9 varsity letters as a multi-years starter. He captained and earned MVP honors in all three sports - along with Male Athlete of the Year, during his senior year.

On the gridiron, Palumbo was a two-way player while also contributing on special teams. He started on both offense (running back and wide receiver) and defense (Safety / Defensive Back) and was also a member of the kick return team. He had his best season in 1984 - as a senior - when he earned recognition from the Boston Globe, Fall River Herald News and New Bedford Standard Times and was an unanimous choice for the Southeastern Massachusetts Conference All-Star Team. On the ice, Palumbo spent three years as right wing on the Hilltoppers top line. He was a consistent offensive threat and was a 3-time selection to the Greater Fall River Hockey Coaches All-Star team. Palumbo was a talented track athlete who set the school record in the triple jump at 43’ 1”. Following graduation, Palumbo took his athletic prowess to Choate Rosemary Hall, where he starred in football, hockey and lacrosse. He later earned a full football scholarship to Union College. Palumbo is the owner and operator of Big Tow Trucking Company. He resides in Fall River with his wife MacKenzie and their children.

EDWARD SILVA, Class of 1989

There’s an old saying that offense wins games but defense wins championships. That was definitely true for the Durfee soccer teams of the late 1980’s and we are thrilled to recognize the contributions of Edward “Eddy” Silva - the anchor of the Hilltoppers shut down defense. Eddy Silva was a three year starter for Durfee and, by his junior season, became Durfee’s top defender. He drew the assignment of defending the opponents top scorer game after game and, more often than not, opponents found themselves denied. Silva’s accomplishments are best measured by the success of the team. In his junior year, the Hilltoppers allowed only 14 goals over an 18 game season. They took home the Southeastern Massachusetts Conference Division 1 championship. His senior year, when he also served as the Hilltoppers co-captain was even more impressive. Durfee posted a 17-1-1 record, allowed only 8 goals and recorded 13 shut-outs. Silva was a big part of Durfee’s top 20 national ranking in 1988 when their only loss came in the Division 1 South Sectional Final - an epic 1-0 loss to Natick which took over two hours contested over 2 days.

During his career, Silva was a multi-year SMC and Herald News all-star. He was a gold medal winner in the Bay State Games. John Santos, Durfee’s long-time soccer coach, credited Silva’s size (6-0, 180 lbs.) and his superior ball handling and clearing skills with his success. But even more, Santos credited Santos’ work ethic. In a 1988 Providence Journal profile, Santos said, “He has one speed - Go! He gives it all on every play, in practice and in games. He is a solid two-way player with the heart of a lion. He is a true leader by example.”

ADELINO ‘EDDIE’ JACOB, Class of 1991

Eddie Jacob, Durfee's offensive powerhouse, helped to put Durfee soccer on the map – the map of the United States, that is. The Hilltoppers were ranked in the top 20 in the nation in the fall of 1989 when Jacob was a sophomore. But he didn't stop there, continuing to shine throughout his career by re-writing the record books of Durfee soccer. Jacob played 4 years of varsity soccer at Durfee and his scoring prowess was evident from his first year. By his second season, Jacob was putting up big numbers, dominating in league play and scoring in important situations. Recognized as Boston Globe All-Scholastic in his junior season and as a multi-all conference selection, Jacob led the Hilltoppers in goals for three years straight. He accomplished this despite being the frequent target of the opposing defense and before being beset by injuries in both his sophomore and junior seasons. Jacob had a knack for both prolific and clutch scoring. It was not unusual for Jacob to score multiple goals in one game. He had several career hat tricks and a remarkable 5-goal effort against Diman in his senior year. He was also the go-to forward in tight games, including scoring all four goals in successive 2-2 ties against New Bedford and Hingham.

Jacob saved his best career for his senior campaign when the co-captain netted a state-leading 37 goals as part of his 37-12-49 offensive production. He captured the title of all-time leading Durfee scoring in that season. In a 1990 Herald News profile of Jacob, long-time coach John Santos described what made Jacob so successful: "I think speed is number 1. He has a lot of good speed. He has also developed a great shot with both feet and he's good with balls in the air. He's mult-dimensional." A native of the Azores, Jacob moved to Fall River in middle school. Although he was scouted by professional teams in Europe, Jacob chose the college route and played soccer for UMass Dartmouth, where he captained the team in his senior year. Jacob lives in Fall River with his wife, Jen, and his two sons. He has a successful career in sales.

BETHANY PLASSKI, Class of 2005

Bethany Plasski (2005) made her mark on the court and on the pitch during her phenomenal athletic career at Durfee. She was recognized by The Fall River Herald News in the Greater Fall River’s Top 25 best high school players of all-time. Plasski was a tremendous two-sport athlete and was an all-star in every season she played. A four-year varsity starter in both basketball and soccer, Plasski re-wrote the Durfee record books. In basketball, Plasski reached the 1,000-point scoring mark and also became the Hilltoppers’ all-time female scoring leader in just her junior season. She ended her career with 1,776 points. Plasski was a four-year starter and the MVP of the team all four seasons. She was a four-time Big 3 Conference all-star and was twice named the league’s MVP leading her team to the state playoffs in all four seasons. As a junior, Plasski averaged 25.2 points, 3.1 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4.4 steals a game. She saved her best performance for her senior year when she averaged 22.3 points, 4.5 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game. Plasski earned both Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-scholastic and was a McDonald’s All-American nominee. She was Durfee’s first female Dave Cowen’s Award winner.

A four-year starter at sweeper in soccer, Plasski was a 3-time team MVP who led Durfee to the state tournament every year. She was a four-time Big 3 Conference all-star for the Hilltoppers who were league champions in three of her four seasons. She is remembered for her amazing transcontinental throw-ins which she could place to the front of the goal. Plasski took great pride in keeping opposing teams out of scoring range with her tenacious defense. Plasski earned a full scholarship to play basketball at Assumption University where she led the Greyhounds to a program record 22 wins and an appearance in the second round of the NCAA tournament during her junior year. She finished her collegiate career with 1,456 points which ranks sixth all-time in scoring for women’s basketball at Assumption. Currently a school counselor at Durfee, Plasski lives in Fall River with her husband Jameson Guimond and their children Jameson and Joelle.

THOMAS KILBY, Class of 2006

Thomas Kilby (2006) was a three season athlete who seized the moment on one of the biggest stages of his athletic career. Kilby was a four-year member of the Durfee Football, Winter Track and Spring Track teams, captaining all three during his senior year. He made his biggest mark – literally – on the outdoor oval where he was a javelin specialist who dominated the event in dual meets throughout his career. In the penultimate meet of his senior year, Kilby heaved a throw of 178 feet 11 inches to capture the Division 1 State javelin championship. This feat is memorialized by a banner that hangs in the Luke Urban Field House. He went on to place 7th in the All-State Meet. Kilby was undefeated in the javelin in his senior year and was named to the Big 3 All Star team when he was also recognized as Durfee’s Male Athlete of the Year.

Kilby went on to a 4-year track career at Stonehill College, where he twice set the school record in the javelin. He was named Stonehill’s rookie of the year in 2007. Former gridiron coach Steve Winarksi said of Kilby, “What doesn’t show on the stat sheet is his unwavering determination and desire to be the best at his chosen sports. He was versatile and willing to do whatever the coaches asked of him and willing to play wherever needed.” Kilby currently lives in Fall River with his wife and works in the solar industry.


From the first game on the soccer field to her last on the mound, Caitlin Belanger (2007) left her mark on Durfee athletics. A four-year starter in three different sports, Belanger was one of the rare athletes to earn 12 varsity letters. Yet it was not just the breadth of her athletic pursuits but her ability to excel across all that has led her to the Durfee Hall of Fame in 2022. Belanger made her presence known in her freshman year when she was a critical member of Durfee’s 2004 state champion softball team. She led the team in wins in her rookie season, including the state championship game. She also contributed at the plate as a top offensive player. She earned Boston Herald All Scholastic honors and was the team’s MVP, an honor she received in four consecutive years as a Hilltopper. Belanger starred in each of her four years on the softball field. In addition to being the 4-time MVP, she earned four straight Big Three All Star, Herald News All Star and Boston Herald All Star. She captained the team in her senior year and ended her career with a .453 batting average. There was no rest for Belanger as she starred on the soccer team in the fall before moving inside to the basketball court in the winter. Belanger was a four-year starter in both sports. On the pitch, she was twice named a Big 3 and Herald News All Star as well as Offensive MVP. She was a formidable offensive threat, with 40 career goals and 19 goals in her senior year alone. Her senior basketball season was equally impressive, averaging 9.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.2 steals per game.

Belanger went on to a stellar career at Holy Cross, playing both soccer and softball. She wrapped up her softball career with the fourth highest all-time career batting average of .336, fifth all-time with 81 runs scored, tied for fifth with 25 doubles, first with 55 stolen bases, and second with 53 walks, despite missing most of her sophomore year due to injury. As a pitcher at Holy Cross Belanger finished tied for sixth with 48 starts, tied for fifth with 24 complete games and fifth with 17 career wins. She currently holds Holy Cross single season records for runs scored at 40, hits at 59, and stolen bases at 27. She led all starters with a .373 batting average and started in a team-high 16 games from the circle in her senior season. She was named to the second team All-Patriot League for the two straight seasons and was named to the 2011 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-Region Northeast second team. Belanger played 2 years of professional softball, starting as a member of the Neunkirchen Nightmares out of Neunkirchen-Seelscheid, Germany in 2011. While there, she led the team to two European Cups. Earning degrees at both Holy Cross and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Belanger is a registered nurse at Boston Children’s Hospital. She resides in Worcester with her daughter.