Two of the University of Oklahoma’s four living Heisman Trophy winners will be the guest speakers at the Oklahoma Eight Man Football Coaches Association all-star game awards banquet.
Steve Owens and Billy Sims will appear at the banquet, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Carter Student Union Ballroom on the campus of Northeastern A&M College.
“It’s a great priviledge to have Steve and Billy speak at our event,” said Stacey Satterwhite, who chairs the local organizing committee.
The top players in eight-man football will be honored and 10 scholarships will be awarded during the banquet.
Also, OEMFCA Hall of Fame inductees Max Moore and Richard Worley will be recognized.
The two also will be honored at the half of the football game, which will be July 10 at Northeastern A&M’s Robertson Field.
The event is organized by the Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Oklahoma Eight Man Football Coaches Association.
It’s been held in Miami since 2003.
Corporate sponsors for this event are Touchstone Energy, Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Miami CVB and the Oklahoma Center for Orthopedics/Dr. Sean O’Brien.
Owens, who earned all-state honors at Miami High School, won the Heisman in 1969 as a senior at Oklahoma.
Sims received the Heisman in 1978.
The Sooners’ other Heisman winners are Billy Vessels (1952), Jason White (2003) and Sam Bradford (2008).
Owens is OU's all-time leading scorer with 57 touchdowns and is the leader in rushing attempts in a game (55), season (393) and career (958).
Owens and Sims share the Oklahoma record for most rushing touchdowns in a season (23) and they rank 1-4 on OU’s career rushing chart.
Sims finished with 4,118 yards while Owens netted 4,041 yards.
Ironically, both were the No. 1 selection of the Detroit Lions — Owens in the 1970 NFL Draft and Sims in 1980.
Sims was the overall No. 1 pick.
In 1971, Owens became the first Lion to rush for over 1,000 yards and made the Pro Bowl.
A series of knee injuries forced Owens to retire in 1975. Sims played five seasons, making the Pro Bowl in 1980,’81 and’82.
Sims finished his career with 1,131 carries for 5,106 yards (4.5 yards per carry), and 186 receptions for 2,072 yards (11.1 yards per catch). His career ended midway through the 1984 season when he suffered a knee injury in a game against the Minnesota Vikings.
It will be a busy weekend for Owens and Sims.
They will be joined by White at the Miami Walmart from 10 a.m. to noon on July 10 as part of their regular statewide Heisman tour sponsored by Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling.
Owens and Sims then will be at the Billy Sims BBQ, 2830 East 7th Street in Joplin, Mo., from 1 to 3 p.m. that day.
“Steve has helped so many across the state,” Satterwhite said. “He’s a very giving person.”
Eighty 8-man players will arrive in Miami on July 6 to begin preparation for the football game.
They will be broken down into Green and Gold teams. The Gold team is composed of players from eight-man’s four even-numbered district while the Green team includes players from the odd-numbered districts.
As usual, a variety of activities are planned for the players, including a “Welcome to Miami” picnic and swim party on Tuesday, a cruise on the Cherokee Queen on Wednesday and a performance by hypnotist Dr. Don White on Thursday.
Twelve All-Star cheerleaders from across the state will be on hand to cheer on both teams. The girls were nominated by their cheer coaches and selected by a committee to participate in the game.
They also will be recognized at the awards banquet.
“Eight-man week is an exciting time for the City of Miami,” CVB director Amanda Davis said. “We look forward to welcoming the players, coaches and their families into our community and invite fans from everywhere to join us at the game on Saturday.”
Additional event sponsors include Charlie’s Chicken & BBQ, Playland Lanes, City of Miami, Max-Preps, Sooner Printing, KGLC, Miami News Record, Allen Sign Studio, Osborn Drugs, Miami Friends Church, Miami First Christian Church, Miami First Baptist Church, Cardin Baptist Church of Miami, Russell Athletics, Northeastern A&M College, Miami Walmart, Coaches Aid, Miami Rotary Club, Miami Lions Club, Miami Kiwanis Club, Miami Schools, Tote Along, Gary Crow, Dr. Mark Folks, Peoria Ridge Golf Course, Miami Golf & Country Club, The Coleman House Restaurant/Buffalo Run Casino, Holiday Inn Express, Alert Services and the Miami Fire Department.
Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for students.
Gates at Robertson Field will open at 5 p.m.