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Roney’s jersey gets retired this Friday

Member of ‘43 UW national champs will be honored

Lew Roney, a 1940 graduate of Powell High School and member of the University of Wyoming’s 1943 national championship team, will have his basketball jersey retired during a ceremony between the boys’ and girls’ basketball games with Jackson this Friday.

A banner honoring Roney will also be unveiled on the wall of the Powell High School gymnasium.

During his time at Powell High School, Roney was a four-year letterman in football, a three-year letter winner in basketball and a two-time letterman in track and field. As a sophomore, he played end, punter and place-kicker, earning honorable mention All-State honors. He earned All-State honors in both his junior and senior seasons, with the Panthers making a lengthy post-season run his senior year.

In basketball, he was named to the All-state team as a senior while in track he was a state runner-up in the 120-yard high hurdles. He placed fourth at the state meet in the same race as a junior.

Roney went on to play both football and basketball at the University of Wyoming for three years before serving in the U.S. Navy from 1943-1945. He returned to Laramie to complete his schooling during the 1946-1947 academic year.

At Wyoming, Roney, who was listed on the Pokes’ roster as a 6’3” guard, lettered in three seasons. He started for Wyoming’s 1943 NCAA national championship team, helping the Cowboys go 10-0 in conference play and 31-2 overall. As one of just eight teams invited to the NCAA tournament that year, the Pokes defeated Georgetown 46-34 to earn the national title. Two days later, the team defeated NIT tournament champion St. John’s 52-47 in overtime in the Red Cross War Benefit game. Defeating St. John’s earned Wyoming the right to be called world champions at the time.

Roney and the rest of his 1943 teammates were inducted into the University of Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993 as part of a celebration of the 50th anniversary of that season.

Following his graduation from the University of Wyoming, Roney entered into a teaching career. He taught middle school mathematics from 1948-1974. He also served as the head basketball coach for Laramie High School for a few years before taking on the role of coordinator of the grade school athletic programs in Laramie.

In 1960, he became the junior high athletic director and served in that capacity for the remainder of his teaching career. Roney was also responsible for starting the Little League Baseball program in Laramie, where one of the fields has been named Roney Field in his honor.

Roney’s jersey retirement is the first of two such ceremonies planned this month by Powell High School. The Panthers will retire Dale Ann (Feusner) Meeker’s jersey on Feb. 25 during Powell’s regular-season finale against Cody. Among her claims to fame, Meeker was the first female to receive an athletic scholarship at the University of Wyoming and started every basketball game she played in during both her high school and college careers.

Roney and Meeker become the sixth and seventh individuals honored by Powell High School. Those selected are first nominated for the honor and then chosen by a committee, which looks at each person’s high school, college and professional accomplishments.

“There’s a point system,” notes Powell High School athletic director Tim Wormald. “What we’re looking for are people who score above a certain point total on the criteria that have been laid out.”

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