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February 19, 2009 3:42 am

PHS to unveil Hall of Fame Corner

Written by Tribune Staff

Bloom's jersey to be retired

When the Powell High School basketball teams face Lovell Friday (tomorrow), a number of special ceremonies will be conducted throughout the evening.

One of the events will be the unveiling of the PHS Hall of Fame Corner, which will include banners recognizing three PHS student-athletes who already have had their jerseys retired — Jesseca Cross, Dennis Havig and Eddie Kawano. As part of that ceremony, which will be conducted at approximately 7 p.m., the basketball jersey worn by Keith Bloom, will be retired.

According to Jeff Jones, PHS activities director and assistant principal, the new Hall of Fame Corner will include a large banner proclaiming the name of the new addition along with the Panther logo. He said individual banners, one each for Bloom, Cross, Havig and Kawano, will be unveiled as well. Those banners will include each standout's name, retired number, senior year and sport of their retired number.

“I think it's going to be pretty neat for everyone involved,” Jones said. “This will be a great way for us to recognize those former PHS student-athletes for their many accomplishments, and we encourage everyone to come out and be part of what will be a special night.”

Jones, who came up with the idea for the Hall of Fame Corner, said it will be particularly monumental to see Bloom's basketball jersey retired. Bloom, who is nicknamed Mr. Panther, enjoyed a stellar multi-sport career at PHS between 1941 and 1945.

During a recent interview, Bloom said he learned of the plan to retire his No. 57 last summer at a PHS alumni banquet.

“It was a real surprise to me,” Bloom said. “It's a real honor and one I don't even know how to describe. It just means so much to me.”

Added Jones, “In my opinion, this is an honor long overdue for one of the finest representatives of PHS athletics to ever put on a uniform.”

Bloom, following his time as a student-athlete at PHS, went on to enjoy a standout athletic career at the University of Wyoming, where he competed in a number of sports, including basketball.

As a member of the Cowboys' basketball squad, coached by Ev Shelton, he earned the distinction of team captain. He is one of only two athletes to letter in three sports at UW and was inducted into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame. He also is a member of the Wyoming Sports Hall of Fame and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

After college, Bloom coached basketball, football, track and tennis at PHS and served as athletic director in a career that spanned 40 years.

Jones said Bloom is expected to attend the ceremony. Cross and Kawano also are expected to be in attendance. Cross, in addition to her accomplishments at PHS, attended the University of Wyoming on a basketball scholarship. She also competed in the hammer throw and shot put at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Kawano was a standout tailback at PHS during the 1960s.

Havig, who enjoyed a six-year NFL career that included time with Green Bay, Houston and Atlanta, will not be able to attend, Jones said. Havig, however, like the others included in the Hall of Fame Corner, is expected to have numerous family members and friends at the event.

In conjunction with the ceremony celebrating the former PHS athletic standouts, Jones said a pair of state championship banners earned by PHS's speech and drama teams will be unveiled. Those banner ceremonies will be conducted at halftime of the varsity girls game between the Lady Panthers and Lady Bulldogs. That game is slated to start at 5:45 p.m.

Following the PHS Hall of Fame Corner ceremony at approximately 7 p.m., the varsity boys teams from Powell and Lovell will square off. The start time for that contest is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.