Struthers studentsreceive award
STRUTHERS -- Struthers High students Ty Campana and Michelle High have been presented the Ohio High School Athletic Association's Archie Griffin sportsmanship award.
The award is named for the two-time Heisman Trophy winner, and presented each year to a male and female student who have been outstanding in their efforts to promote sportsmanship in their school and community.
Ledges racing
GARRETTSVILLE -- Bill Pintaric Jr. of Liberty, driving a Nissan, finished second in the GT Lite class in the Sports Car Club of America races at Nelson Ledges road course.
David Pintaric of Canfield, driving a Corvette, placed sixth in Touring. Csaba Bujdoso of Canfield, in A Sedan, finished third in a Camaro.
Ahsen Yelkin was fifth in Formula Atlantic and Jim Tibor of Cortland was ninth in the Spec Racer class.
Sparks playin Ambridge
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Steel City Sparks soccer team's second home game for the 2005 season will be Saturday at Ambridge High School Stadium when they play the Massachusetts Stingers at 7 p.m.
Gonzalez placed on DL
MINNEAPOLIS -- Oft-injured Cleveland Indians outfielder Juan Gonzalez was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a strained right hamstring.
Coco Crisp was activated from the DL to replace Gonzalez, whose latest comeback bid lasted just one at-bat.
Gonzalez strained his right hamstring Tuesday against the Twins. The fragile outfielder, a two-time AL MVP who has missed most of the past three seasons with a variety of injuries, got hurt in the first inning trying to beat out a slow grounder in his first major league at-bat in more than a year.
He never made it to first base, turning right, dropping his head and heading directly into the Indians' dugout.
Heitmann signedto extension
SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco 49ers and offensive lineman Eric Heitmann agreed to terms Thursday on a four-year contract extension.
The Niners also released offensive tackle Scott Gragg, who joined the team as a free agent in 2000.
Heitmann, entering his fourth season in the NFL, started every game last year at left guard for San Francisco. The seventh-round draft pick in 2002 has played 41 games in his career.
Mikan dies
PHOENIX -- George Mikan, professional basketball's first dominant big man who led the Minneapolis Lakers to five championships and literally transformed the game, has died. He was 80.
Mikan died Wednesday at a Scottsdale rehabilitation center following a long fight with diabetes and kidney ailments. His right leg was amputated below the knee in 2000, and he had undergone kidney dialysis treatment three times a week for five years, his son Terry said.
Six-foot-10, nearsighted with thick glasses, Mikan was so effective as a center at DePaul that he forced the NCAA to adopt the goaltending rule and later caused the NBA to double the width of the free throw lane. Slowdown tactics used against him eventually led to the 24-second shot clock.
"George Mikan truly revolutionized the game and was the NBA's first true superstar," NBA commissioner David Stern said. "He had the ability to be a fierce competitor on the court and a gentle giant off the court. We may never see one man impact the game of basketball as he did, and represent it with such warmth and grace."
Mikan's Lakers won five league titles in the first six years of the franchise's history.
Nike cutsYanks' Giambi
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Jason Giambi no longer has an endorsement deal with Nike.
A Nike spokesman on Thursday confirmed that the shoe and apparel company ended its nine-year relationship with the New York Yankees' slumping slugger.
Nike did not say if the move was related to Giambi's reported admission of steroid use or his poor play.
"We never release details of our contractual arrangements," Nike spokesman Rodney Knox told The Associated Press.
Staff/wire reports

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