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In 2009, the home court at DHS was renamed in Vitello’s honor.
Duggan was a star on the basketball court, earning MVP honors for his role at the forefront of the state championship game of ’51 which came down to the buzzer. The Red Raiders had a 20 point lead against Sacred Heart, but the championship ultimately came down to a one-point game, where Duggan’s leadership, hard work and preparation as captain paid off, giving DHS’ basketball program its only state title in its history. Duggan later coached at DHS and served as longtime principal of Bradley School.
Donofrio led Derby basketball to a position of prominence, and was just the second, and to date, the last, All-State basketball player from Derby. The team captain went on to excel at Quinnipiac, and by the time he graduated in 1962, he scored over 1000 points, was a two-time tournament MVP and was named captain his senior season, leading the team with an average of 15.5 points per game.
Keefe stood out on both the track and football field. In cross country championships, he won the Class M title, and earned silver in the State Open. Keefe won back to back Class M crowns in track in ’58 and ’59 with times of 4:35 and 4:33, respectively. Before him, it had been 20 years since a Derby runner had won gold in the mile. Keefe excelled in college at CCSU, winning championships and earning All-American accolades at various distances.
DiCenso was involved in Derby football for 33 years. He served as DHS’s head football coach from 1983-1992, previously serving as assistant coach to the legendary DeFilippo. DiCenso led the Red Raiders to their first Class S title in 1985. Back-to-back playoff appearances and a league championship the following year cemented DiCenso as one of the premier coaches in the state. Derby became a regular in the Register Top Ten. DiCenso accumulated nearly 80 wins, multiple Housy and State championships over 10 years. He served as an educator in Derby for 36years, serving as DHS’ principal for 11 years, and also served as acting superintendent. The gateway leading into Ryan Field was named “Charles DiCenso Way.”
two-way starter on the legendary ’69 edition of the Red Raiders, Sanford was an opposing coach’s nightmare. On offense, he was impossible to defend, and as a defender, he routinely blew up the backfield. He was just as dominant on the hardwood, a team leader in scoring, his school record of 32 rebounds is still the best ever for a single game.