Wagner, Croft named to Lovell Hall of Fame

By David Peck

A pair of athletes who competed generations apart will be inducted into the Lovell High School Athletic Hall of Fame next month.

Karen Koritnik Wagner, a 2011 LHS graduate, and Winfield Scott Croft from the long ago Class of 1927 are this year’s inductees. They will be honored during the Cody at Lovell basketball games on Saturday, Jan. 9.

Karen Koritnik Wagner was an outstanding three-sport athlete at LHS, earning all-state honors in volleyball, basketball and track and field and lettering in all three sports in each of her four years of high school.

In volleyball, she was voted all-conference as a junior and senior and all-state as a senior. In basketball, she led Class 2A in scoring as a junior. She received all-conference honors as a junior and senior and was voted all-state as a senior. She was named Conference Player of the Year as a senior and was named to the Wyoming All-Star team that competed against South Dakota.

She also helped the Lady Bulldogs win the 2A state championship as a senior in 2011.

During her high school career at LHS, Wagner established herself as one of the top athletes in the state, winning nine individual or relay state championships and setting numerous school, meet and state records in the long jump, triple jump and 300-meter hurdles and as a member of the 1,600-meter relay team. She played a major role in Lovell’s back-to-back Class 2A state championships in 2010 and 2011.

Wagner was the 2011 recipient of the Class 1A/2A Wilford Mower Award for academic, athletic and leadership excellence and was one of five finalists for the all-class Milward Simpson Award given to the outstanding female athlete in the state.

She earned a 3.92 grade point average at LHS, third in her class, and was awarded an athletic scholarship to compete in track and field at the University of Wyoming. She competed in the long jump and triple jump for the Cowgirls and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in secondary education.

She received the highly competitive James Madison Memorial Fellowship in 2017, considered to be the most prestigious award given annually to social studies teachers nationwide.

Win Croft

Winfield Scott Croft, known as Win or Windy Croft, was a student leader and multi-sport athlete at Lovell High School and an all-star at the University of Utah, but he is perhaps best remembered as the only LHS graduate to play professional football at the highest level.

The son of Dr. Edward Woolley and Helen Brown Croft, Win was born Feb. 24, 1910, in Cowley and competed in football, basketball and track at Lovell High before graduating in 1927. He excelled as a defensive tackle, fullback and offensive guard for the Bulldogs, then was recruited to play football at the University of Utah, where he starred on the offensive line for the Utes, using his athleticism and toughness to become a standout pulling guard.

Win received all-conference honors in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference for the Utes in 1931 and 1933 and was also an All-American candidate in 1933 until an injury cut his season short. He came back in 1934 and made the conference all-star football team.

Win was recruited by the St. Louis/Kansas City Blues of the original American Football League, then made it to the big time with the National Football League, playing 11 games with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1935, starting five, and nine games with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1936. The defending league champion Green Bay Packers then sought out and signed Win in 1937, but after suffering an injury during the offseason, he decided to retire.

Win returned to Lovell and served his community for many years as a medical technician and also worked construction. He died July 8, 1993.