Participants in the ribbon cutting at the grand opening of Billy Sims BBQ at 925 E Lincoln Lane in Gardner on June 23 are (from left) Randy Gregorcyk, city council member; Cheryl Harrison-Lee, city administrator; several members of franchise

Former  college and professional football player Billy Sims was at the grand opening of Billy Sims BBQ signing autographs for customer. Sims played college football for the University of Oklahoma, where he was a two-time consensus All-American, and won the Heisman Trophy in 1978. He was the first overall pick in the 1980 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the NFL’s Detroit Lions. Staff photos by Rick Poppitz

owner Matt Cranor (holding scissors); Billy Sims; Steve Shute, mayor; Lee Moore, council president; and Don Koontz, BBQ chef.