The Lovell High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee this week announced its second class to be inducted into the year old hall of honor, a class of five this year to be inducted in January.
The ceremony for inducting the second hall of fame class will be held between the girls and boys basketball games on Friday, Jan. 27, 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.
Wrestling dominates this year’s class, with three Mickelson brothers – Dee, Wendell and Leon — being named to the hall, along with successful wrestling coach Tony Mullins. The fifth inductee is multi-sport athlete Dana Dillon.
The class of five to be inducted into the hall of fame on Jan. 27 is as follows:
• Dee Mickelson. A 1959 LHS graduate, Dee was an outstanding wrestler at Lovell High School and also competed in football, basketball and track. He earned all-conference and all-state honors in wrestling in 1959, winning the Big Horn Conference Tournament and placing second at the State Wrestling Tournament. He also placed third at State in 1958.
He attended Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, for one year, lettering in football and wrestling and earning an Intermountain Conference championship in 1960. He then attended the University of Wyoming from 1960-64, earning multiple awards.
Dee placed second at heavyweight in the Skyline Conference in 1962 and received the UW Outstanding Wrestler Award. He won the 1963 Western Athletic Conference championship at 167 and competed in the NCAA National Tournament.
He again wrestled to the WAC title in 1964, this time in the 177-pound weight class, and again received the UW Outstanding Wrestler Award.
• Wendell Mickelson. A 1962 LHS graduate, Wendell was an outstanding wrestler and football player at LHS, lettering for four years in both sports. He earned all-conference and all-state honors in wrestling in 1961 and ’62 and won the state wrestling title in both seasons at 165 pounds. He was also a regional champion in 1962 after placing second in 1961.
He went on to the University of Wyoming to wrestle, and after his graduation served as the head wrestling coach at Lovell from 1970-72 and at Hulett from 1973-74.
• Leon Mickelson. Leon was an outstanding wrestler at LHS and also competed in football, lettering in both sports for four years. A 1964 graduate, he won both the Western Regional and Wyoming State tournaments in 1964 in the 154-pound weight class.
He followed in his brothers’ footsteps and went on to the University of Wyoming, winning the 1967 WAC championship in the 160-pound weight division and competing in the NCAA National Tournament. He was also the runner-up at 160 pounds in 1966, earning a trip to Nationals. As a freshman he placed second at 167 at the WAC Championships in 1965.
Leon was named the Outstanding Wrestler at the 1966 Arizona State Invitational Tournament.
• Dana Dillon. Dillon was outstanding in three sports at Lovell High School before graduating in 1995, lettering four years in volleyball, basketball and track. She was the Class 2A state high jump champion in 1993, ’94 and ’95 and placed third in the 2A shot put in 1995. She was all-conference in basket ball in 1994, set school records in the high jump and shot put and won the all-class Meet of Champions in the high jump in 1995.
Dillon went on to the University of Wyoming and competed in track and field from 1996 to 2000. She was a three-time all-conference performer in both indoor and outdoor track in 1998, 1999 and 2000 and was an NCAA All-American Division I for both seasons in 2000.
She set the UW school record in both the 20-pound weight throw and the hammer throw during her college career.
• Tony Mullins. Tony Mullins came to Lovell as a teacher and coach in 1989 and gradually built Lovell into a wrestling powerhouse. His first team placed third at State, and over the next 10 years the Bulldogs won four consecutive state titles from 1995-98, were runners-up in 1992, 1999 and 2000 and placed third in 1990, 1993 and 1994.
He built his program on the motto “Hardest working team in the state,” which was stated by the team before each practice, later concluding each practice with “State champs!” He also took over the middle school program in 1991 to generate enthusiasm and continuity for the high school program.
Under Mullins the Lovell High School wrestling program produced 94 individual state placers and 24 state champions. The Bulldogs also won 10 regional championships during his tenure.
The hall of fame was the brainchild of LHS Athletic Director Joe Koritnik, who had 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 in 2015, a volunteer committee was formed to winnow the long list of successful athletes and coaches to a final class to be inducted into the hall.
The committee put together a framework for selection criteria including an athlete’s performance at the high school level, college and beyond. Nominations can 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 in 2015 consisted of the late Johnny Winterholler, Brownie Brown, Lowell “Sodie” Earl, Bruce Goodrich, Cliff Revelle, Ralph Winland and Adrienne Prosser.
By David Peck