A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience:
*Bob Kelso was a star football player at Ada High School. He was selected to The Oklahoman's All-State team in 1963 after leading the Cougars in rushing. Ada was 35-10-1 with one Class A state championship with Kelso starting either at tackle or fullback. The 5-foot-11, 210-pounder held the school record in the bench press at 220 pounds. He attended Oklahoma on a football scholarship but finished his accounting major at East Central in Ada. By trade, Kelso spent 27 years working for the Internal Revenue Service. He died at age 66.
*Longtime youth sports coach Jerry Fisher died at age 75 after suffering a stroke. Fisher spent 20 years in the Air Force, retiring as a tech sergeant; he then spent another 20 years as a civil service employee for the Air Force. The Good Hope, Ill., native had a commitment to coaching or umpiring youth-league sports, including baseball, softball and soccer in the Del City area. Several of Fisher's softball teams were local and regional champions. Also an avid golfer who spent many retirement days on the Tinker course.
*Chuck Turci was an investment officer for Bank of Oklahoma. Off time was devoted to soccer, often as a referee instructor. Turci once coordinated the Sooner State Games' massive soccer competition. The New York native was an Oklahoma City resident for more than 50 years. He died recently at age 69.
*Donnie McMahon, 80, was a longtime cyclist. He participated in the Oklahoma Freewheel, a seven-day tour across the state. The Korean War veteran was a Yukon resident.
*Fred Odom, a quadriplegic, competed in the Wheelchair Olympics in 1983. The Oklahoma City resident finished second in a 15-kilometer race during the Oklahoma Run of '84 at Lake Hefner. The East Central University graduate died at age 61.
*Other Oklahomans with sports backgrounds who died recently include: Vernon Land, 81, a competitive shooter. Member of the Oklahoma High Power Rifle Team. ... Blanquita Terrill Dye, 87, a former girls basketball player at Burneyville High School. ... Janet Cartmill, 58, wife of late Santa Fe South football coach Mike Cartmill. Mrs. Cartmill once worked for the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, the governing body for high school athletics. ... Leon Manuel Sr., 86, race car builder and driver. ... Dollie Shoun, 74, was often seen in the State Fair Speedway pits on Friday nights helping son James Shoun prepare the No. 62 sprint car for the next race.
*Oklahoma assistant women's basketball coach Jan Ross was named winner of the 2013 Carol Eckman Award. The award goes to the coach who exemplifies Eckman's spirit, integrity and character through sportsmanship, commitment to student-athletes, honesty, courage and dedication to purpose. Eckman coached at West Chester State (Pa.) and organized the first women's basketball championship. She continued to promote women's college basketball until she died of cancer in 1985.
Ross, who is in her 17th season at OU, continued to work while battling breast cancer. She is now cancer-free.
“In a battle like that, you search for the positives,” said Ross, who played basketball at Oklahoma Christian University and Putnam City West High School. “Whatever positives you can pull out of it, you pull out of it. Being able to inspire and educate through my own personal battle with cancer — that's a definite positive.”
*The results are not what coach Katy Mohr wanted, but she saw several positives as Oklahoma Baptist officially became the only lacrosse-playing university in the state. The Bison debuted Feb. 23 with an 8-4 loss vs. Texas State and 12-6 setback to Texas Tech. Lacrosse was added to OBU varsity sports as well swimming and football. Swimming, in its second year, is already a national champion. The football team plays its first game in August.
20,000: In just one week's time, more than 20,000 people signed a petition to the International Olympic Committee to keep wrestling on the sports docket for the 2020 Games. The IOC said recently it would drop one of the Games' oldest events, though another vote is scheduled in September. LetsKeepWrestling.com is collecting the signatures and even offering $14 T-shirts to spread the word.
Oklahoma City dealer Mike DeGarmo is having his monthly trading card and memorabilia show at the Biltmore Hotel on Saturday and Sunday. DeGarmo has lined up two former OU football stars to sign autographs — defensive back Reggie Smith from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday and linebacker Brian Bosworth from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday. DeGarmo's show in February drew a nice crowd. Several dealers were on hand, offering vintage and new sports cards. One table focused on autographed memorabilia, including an Evel Knievel-signed crash helmet. The Biltmore is located at 401 S. Meridian. Doors open at 9 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. There will be no admission charge.