The Lovell High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee this week announced its inaugural class to be inducted into the newly-formed hall of honor, a class of seven to be inducted in December.
The hall of fame was the brainchild of LHS Athletic Director Joe Koritnik, who has seen schools in other communities across the state establish halls to honor their top athletes. After getting the go-ahead from the LHS and District No. 2 administration, a volunteer committee was formed, and several meetings were held during the summer and fall as the committee winnowed the long list of successful athletes and coaches to a final seven to be inducted as the inaugural class.
The committee put together a framework for selection criteria including an athlete’s performance at the high school level, college and beyond. Nominations could be made in three categories: athlete, coach and service – someone who has made outstanding contributions or provided excellent service to the LHS athletic programs in a capacity other than athlete or coach.
The ceremony for the induction of the first hall of fame class will be held between the girls and boys basketball games on Saturday, Dec. 12, when the Lovell Bulldogs host the Rocky Mountain Grizzlies. A reception for the athletes where they can visit with fans will be held following the game in the high school gym classroom up the stairs from the lobby.
The inaugural class of seven to be inducted into the new hall of fame on Dec. 12 is as follows:
• Johnny Winterholler, a four-sport star at both the high school and college level for whom the Lovell High School gym is named. Winterholler graduated from LHS in 1935 after excelling in football, basketball and track – and baseball during the summer. He went on to the University of Wyoming where he was a rare four-sport letterman.
Winterholler lost the use of his legs as he survived the brutal Bataan Death March and nearly three years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during World War II, but he organized wheelchair basketball in California after the war. He was named to Sports Illustrated Magazine’s Silver Anniversary All-American football team in 1964, and he was inducted into the University of Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993 as part of that halls inaugural class. He died in 2001.
Winterholler will be inducted posthumously into the LHS Hall of Fame in the athlete category.
• Brownie Brown, nominated and selected in the service category. Brown was selected because of his love of and service to the youth of Lovell High School for decades while serving on the Lovell School Board and supporting Lovell Bulldogs teams and players as their greatest fan, rarely missing a home contest.
A successful athlete himself, Brown played on the Lovell Junior Chamber of Commerce basketball team that won the national title in Atlanta in 1949, but he is best known for his tireless support of local youth, serving on the school board for 30 years, supporting school district activities, volunteering at school functions and attending hundreds of games and athletic events over about a 60-year period. He also worked and volunteered in many community and church capacities and helped lay out the Foster Gulch Golf Course in the 1980s. He was named Lovell Citizen of the Year in 1999.
• Lowell “Sodie” Earl, a 1948 LHS graduate nominated in the athlete category. Earl played four years of both football and basketball for Lovell High School and two years on the American Legion baseball team. He was one of the outstanding members of the LHS football team that played Casper in the 1947 Turkey Bowl in Casper after forging a 7-0 record during the regular season. A gifted runner, Earl was said to be nearly impossible to bring down, and he was also a hard hitter on defense.
Earl went on to play football for three years at the University of Utah, where he played fullback, playing with classmate Grant Goodrich on the Utes squad.
• Bruce Goodrich, a 1949 LHS graduate, nominated in the athlete category. Goodrich was a three-sport athlete at LHS, lettering as a sophomore, junior and senior in football, basketball and track. He was all-district and honorable mention all-state in football his senior year in 1948, and was a two-year all-district and all-state honoree in basketball.
Goodrich was offered an athletic scholarship to play basketball at the University of Utah, joining football players Sodie Earl and brother Grant as Ute athletes from Lovell. He played varsity basketball and baseball for three years (freshmen were not allowed to play) at Utah.
He was all-conference in basketball at Utah and a Look Magazine honorable mention All-American. His Utah baseball team won the Skyline Conference championship in 1951 and went on to play in the College World Series.
• Cliff Revelle, nominated as a coach. A Powell native, Revelle was an outstanding football player and wrestler for the Powell Panthers, graduating in 1953. He played football for Northwest Community College for two years, then two more at Eastern Montana College in Billings following a redshirt year. He graduated in 1958 and was hired to teach fifth grade at Lovell Elementary School.
Revelle served as an assistant to head coach Grant Goodrich on the LHS football team and also assisted with track and junior high basketball. He later became the head wrestling coach, coaching for 16 years. Lovell placed third in the all-class state tournament in 1964 behind Cheyenne and Laramie, and he took a Wyoming cultural exchange team to Japan in 1972. His state champions included Dave Jolley, Roy Despain and Leon Mickelson.
He also coached football for 21 years and has been active in the community for many years, cooking for the Mustang Days barbecue for many years, serving on the Foster Gulch Golf Course Board for many years, as well as the Rose City West Board and the Lovell Education Foundation Board.
• Ralph Winland, nominated as both a player and coach. A 1967 graduate of Lovell High School, Winland was a four-year letterman in football and basketball and a three-year letterman in track. He excelled in basketball, earning all-state honors as a junior and senior and named the Associated Press Outstanding Player for basketball following his senior year, when he led the Class 2A Northern Division in scoring at 23.8 points per game. He was named Bulldog of the Year at LHS and one of the 100 best high school players in America for the Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountain Region.
He attended the University of Wyoming his freshman year, then played basketball at Miles City Community College, leading his team to the National Junior College Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. He also played at Eastern Montana College, playing for a Yellowjackets squad that went to the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City.
Winland taught and coached in Cowley for eight years, then moved to Lovell in 1979, teaching sixth grade and coaching the LHS boys basketball team for 12 years. He forged a record of 170-88 at LHS and 201-122 overall, winning the Class 2A state title in 1986 and ’87. He also coached football and baseball.
• Adrienne Prosser, nominated as an athlete. Prosser could do it all during a successful athletic career in Lovell, excelling in volleyball, basketball and track and field before graduating in 1992. In volleyball, she was named the team most valuable player as a sophomore, junior and senior, and she was an all-state selection her senior year.
In basketball, she was a top scorer and rebounder for the Lady Bulldogs for three seasons and was named all-conference as a sophomore and junior and all-conference and all-state as a senior, named the Class 2A player of the year.
Her best sport may have been track and field, where she excelled as a jumper. She broke the school record in the long jump as a freshman, then broke her own record several times over the next three years, earning individual state championships in 1990, 1991 and 1992. In ’92 she broke a 13-year state record in the long jump and held the record for 19 years after that.
She broke the school record in the triple jump, as well, during her sophomore season and broke her own record several times after that, winning the state title in the event as a junior and senior. She was also a member of the school record-setting 400-meter relay team and was named the track and field MVP for four years.
After receiving awards like the outstanding LHS female athlete, Mower Award and a Simpson Award finalist, she attended the University of Wyoming, lettering in both indoor and outdoor track for four years and named team captain as a junior and senior. She also played basketball at UW and set the UW indoor track school record in the triple jump.
By David Peck