Fans attending the Lovell-Rocky Mountain basketball games this Saturday night will be in for a special treat: the introduction of the inaugural class of the newly formed Lovell High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
The evening of games begins at 4 p.m. with junior varsity contests at LHS and Lovell Middle School, followed by the girls varsity game at 5:45 at the high school game.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony honoring a class of seven will take place between the varsity girls and varsity boys games at around 7:30 p.m. on the main floor of the LHS Johnny Winterholler Gym. The Lovell-Rocky boys game will follow the ceremony.
A reception for the honored inductees will follow the boys game in the Winterholler Gym lobby and adjacent weight room. All fans attending the games or community members who want to come and greet the honored guests are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served.
The hall of fame was the brainchild of LHS Athletic Director Joe Koritnik, who over the years 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 Lovell 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 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.
Regarded one of the finest all-around athletes in LHS and University of Wyoming history, Winterholler graduated from LHS in 1935 after excelling in football, basketball and track, plus baseball during the summer. He went on to the University of Wyoming where he was a rare four-sport letterman, selected all-conference for the Big Seven Conference in baseball, basketball and football, for which he was also named an honorable mention all-American.
He was offered tryouts with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox.
Former Wyoming broadcaster Larry Birleffi, who went to school with Winterholler in the 1930s and covered Wyoming sports for decades after that, wrote in 1985 that Johnny was the greatest athlete he had ever seen at the University of Wyoming, an athlete who could literally do it all.
Rather than pursuing a professional baseball career, Winterholler joined the Marines and fought in the South Pacific. He was serving in the Philippines in 1942 when Corregidor fell to the Japanese. He was captured and interred at Cavite, marched to Manila, taken to Upper Luzon, shipped to Mindinao Island and forced to march 30 miles to Davao. In all, he spent 34 months as a prisoner of war in horrible conditions, including the Bataan Death March.
Many POWs died from abuse and malnutrition, and severe malnutrition eventually broke down the great athlete’s body. A hematoma pressed against his spinal cord and caused paralysis from the waist down. He never walked again and was eventually freed in February of 1945.
Following the war Winterholler married his hometown sweetheart, Dessa Tippetts, and settled in Lafayette, Calif., where he managed a doctor’s office and organized wheelchair basketball. He was named to Sports Illustrated Magazine’s Silver Anniversary All-American football team in 1964 and was inducted into the University of Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993 as part of that hall’s inaugural class.
The Lovell High School Gym was named for Johnny Winterholler during Mustang Days in June of 1985 as part of a celebration organized by Bob Negro and others to honor veterans.
Winterholler died in 2001 and 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.
He is widely known in Lovell athletics circles and in the community as one of the most loyal and dedicated fans in school history.
A successful athlete himself and a 1935 graduate of LHS, 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, from 1962 through 1992, during which time the LHS gym and swimming pool complex was built. Over many years he was one of the faces of athletics and the Lovell community, 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 and was named the outstanding football player in Wyoming. A gifted athlete, Earl was a powerful runner with a sharp cutback move and was said to be nearly impossible to bring down, and he was also a hard hitter on defense at linebacker. He was also an all-state basketball player.
Earl went on to play football for three years at the University of Utah, where he played linebacker and fullback, playing with classmate Grant Goodrich on the Utes squad. Freshmen were not allowed to play varsity at that time, but he played on the freshman team, then started for the varsity squad for the next three years – 1949, ’50 and ’51. He excelled as a linebacker, calling the defensive signals. The Utes won the Skyline Conference title in Earl’s senior year.
Following his graduation with an electrical engineering degree in 1953, he forged a long civilian and military career, working for the Douglas Aircraft Co. as an electrical design engineer and the Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. in support of mobile Corporal guided missile systems, meanwhile joining the U.S. Army Reserve. He then joined the U.S. Navy in 1955, earning his wings as a pilot in 1957. He piloted Super Constellation airborne radar reconnaissance aircraft in the Western Pacific region, then was released from active duty in 1959.
He went to work for the U.S. Air Force as a civilian, first in weapons control, then in service engineering for the Atlas and Titan missile systems at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, Calif., until 1972. He flew Neptune P2Vs for the Navy Reserve in 1965-66 and in 1972 became an inspection and safety officer at Norton AFB, working on safety and procedures for weapon systems worldwide.
Earl retired in 1988 and has remained at his home in Redlands, Calif., where he has lived since 1959. He lost his wife, Josie Mae Doerr, in January. He remained active in athletics all his life, playing golf and tennis and skiing.
• 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 in 1952-53 when he led the Utes in scoring at 14.1 points per game. The 1952-53 Utah media guide had this to say about Goodrich: “Bruce Goodrich, Senior 6’3” 180 lbs, Age 21. An excellent shot. Could be the Utes’ leading scorer. The smoothest man on the squad. Will be one of Utah’s top contenders for All-Conference honors. The team’s success this year may greatly depend on his performance. In 28 games last year he averaged 9.5 points per game. Is a good rebounder. A brother of Grant Goodrich, regular redskin football player.”
His Utah baseball team won the Skyline Conference championship in 1951 and went on to play in the College World Series.
After graduating in 1953 with a degree in education, Goodrich worked at the Salt Lake City Veterans Administration Hospital for a year, then was drafted into the Army, as was brother Grant. He was stationed at Ft. Lewis, Wash., during the Korean War and played basketball for the base team throughout the country, according to Grant.
He married Faye Jean Stone of Salt Lake and the couple had seven sons.
After the war Goodrich went back to work for the VA Hospital in Salt Lake working in physical therapy and eventually management, remaining in Salt Lake throughout his career before retiring in the early 1990s. He and Jean still live in Salt Lake. He continued to play basketball into his late 60s on various Salt Lake city league teams, Grant said.
• 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, from 1960-75. 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 Wendell Mickelson, Leon Mickelson, Roy Despain, John Franckowiak, Lynn Morrison, Dave Jolley, Alvin Emmett and Jeff Beddes, along with AAU freestyle champion Scott Herren. Wendell Mickelson was also a two-time Western Athletic Conference champion for the University of Wyoming, and Dee and Leon Mickelson also won WAC titles for UW.
Revelle 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 and serving on the Foster Gulch Golf Course Board for several years, as well as the Rose City West Board and the Lovell Education Foundation Board. He and wife Marilyn, also a retired educator, live in Lovell.
• 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 Class AA 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 after finishing as the runner-up in 1984 and ’85. The Bulldogs placed third in Class 3A in 1982. He also coached football, track and field and baseball.
Winland became principal of Lovell High School in 1991 and had to give up coaching, but he continued to follow the playing and coaching careers of his sons Tim, Rod and Pat and his grandchildren over the years. He retired as LHS principal in 2003 but has continued to substitute teach and stay active as a fan of local athletic teams and volunteering in various capacities.
He and wife Robyn continue to make their home in Lovell.
• 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’s 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, Simpson Award finalist and valedictorian, 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, a mark that is still the third best performance in school history. Her indoor long jump mark at UW is also the third best performance in school history.
She graduated from UW in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering and moved to Colorado to begin a career in structural engineering. She is currently the vice president of SK Peightal Engineers, a structural consulting firm specializing in high end, custom construction. She lives in Glenwood Springs and over the years has stayed involved in athletics through coaching and refereeing youth sports.
She continues to play competitive volleyball and is also active as a kayaker, cross-country skier, mountain biker and hiker. She is also a violinist for the local symphony orchestra.
By David Peck