Tickets still on sale for Wardog Kickoff Classic

Tickets are still on sale for the first Wardog Kickoff Classic, set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the First Christian Church.

The event, sponsored by the Miami Wardog Football Booster Club, will help introduce the 2007 football team and coaching staff. It's also a fund raiser for the Ottawa County flood relief effort.

Cost is $7 per person.

Former Wardog standout Steve Owens, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1969 at the University of Oklahoma, will be on hand, as will former Sooner Heisman winners Billy Sims and Jason White.

The trio will be signing autographs from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Civic Center as part of a fund-raising project for flood relief efforts.

There also will be a silent auction running through the evening.

There also will be a regular auction, with proceeds going to the flood relief effort. The MHS dance team and cheerleaders have collected items.

Softball meetings on tap

A pair of meetings to discuss the Miami fall softball league's seasons will be held Thursday at the Civic Center.

A church league meeting will be held at 6 p.m. followed by an adult co-ed meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Event set at Quapaw

QUAPAW - A watermelon feed will be held following Quapaw High School's first pre-season football scrimmage Aug. 16 against Colcord.

The feed is for softball and football players.

The scrimmage starts at 6:30 p.m.

The Wildcats start practice Tuesday. They will practice from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Friday, according to head coach Brad Homer.

Quapaw's second scrimmage will be Aug. 23 at Chouteau.

Hunter education course set

An Oklahoma Department of Wildlife hunter education course will be held Aug. 25 on the Northeastern A&M campus.

The free 8-hour course is one of 22 offered statewide.

It will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be held in Room 106 of Cunningham Hall at NEO.

Also, the course will be offered Aug. 11 at the Grove Community Center. It will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pre-registration is not required at either location.

Al-sports passes on sale

All-sports passes for Miami Public Schools events are now on sale.

Adult tickets, which include admission to all Will Rogers Middle School and Miami High School athletic events, are $50.

Student tickets are $25.

Persons interested in purchasing the ticket should contact Pam Tillman at 542-2061 or 542-8455, ext. 16.

Football sign-ups set

QUAPAW - Final sign-ups for the Quapaw Youth Football season will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Quapaw Little League field.

Prospective players must wear cleats and shorts.

For more information, contact either Billy Shapp 674-9243 or Brent Mate 961-2474.

Softball tourney slated

GROVE - Entries are currently being accepted for a men's benefit softball tournament scheduled for Saturday at the Grove softball complex.

Anyone wanting further information should contact either John Housley 786-4887 or Tony Armstrong 791-1707.

The Grove Softball Association Summer League opened play Aug. 1. Precision Machine defeated Jakes Sports Bar by a 15-14 score while Zags cruised past Grand Lake Casino 28-6 in the first games.

In the nightcap, Grand Lake Casino edged past Jakes Sports Bar 26-25 and Precision Machine defeated Zags by a 27-23 score.

League games start at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Minter ready to retire

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - Carolina Panthers safety Mike Minter, the team's career leader in tackles and one of its most popular players, has decided to retire because of chronic knee pain, a person familiar with the decision said Monday.

The person, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because an official announcement will be made Tuesday, said Minter made the decision over the weekend. He did not practice with the team Monday morning.

The 33-year-old Lawton, Okla., native had said 2007 would be his last. But he said late last week he was considering retiring before this season because he was afraid his knees wouldn't hold up for an 11th NFL season.

Minter, the Panthers' second-round pick in 1997, is the franchise's leader with 953 tackles. His 141 starts and 94 consecutive starts are also team records.

Minter hasn't missed a game since the third week of the 2001 season, though he slowed in recent years and has taken longer to recover after games. He would often miss midweek practices.

During training camp this year, Minter was unable to practice twice a day and worried his knees wouldn't allow him to make the quick cuts and bursts necessary at free safety.

Minter's knee problems began in college, and he developed a staph infection following knee surgery during his second year with the Panthers in 1998.

He has said he thought his career was over then, but Minter worked his way back to become the mainstay in the secondary, shifting between free and strong safety.

Minter was part of the team's bad times _ receiver Rae Carruth's arrest on a murder conspiracy charge and the 1-15 season in 2001. But he also reveled in the good times, highlighted by Carolina's