Former Durfee state champion softball head coach to have new field named after him

FALL RIVER — In Steve Winarski's humble assessment, he was but the Durfee softball Ralph Kramden.


“I just drove the bus. The kids did all the hard work,” the Hilltoppers' former head coach said last week.


If Winarski's name isn't already synonymous with Durfee softball, it's about to be. On Tuesday, the beautiful new artificial turf softball field at Durfee will be named for the retired physical education teacher. The dedication ceremony is set for 5 p.m., with a game against Diman Regional to follow at 6 p.m. The public is invited and urged to attend.


The Durfee boss on the diamond from 1997 to 2011, Winarski enjoyed great success, most notably with his Hilltoppers winning two state Division 1 championships — in 1998 and 2004.


The players' hard work, he mentioned, included Sunday practices before Monday games, two-hour practices preseason, and 90-minute/no-standing-around practices during the season. “I wanted to keep everyone busy, everyone always moving,” said Winarski, who recently turned 70.