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BLUE SOX MOVE TO PLANO; NAME MIKE MAACK HEAD COACH

The Texas Collegiate League announced Wednesday the move of its Blue Sox team from Highland Park to Plano for the 2006 season.

The team will be called the Plano Blue Sox and will play its games at Graham Field, which is located on the campus of Prestonwood Baptist Church. The field is the home of the Prestonwood Christian Academy Lions.

It was also announced that Prestonwood Christian Academy head baseball coach Mike Maack has been appointed to that position for the Plano Blue Sox.

“The Blue Sox are extremely excited about our new partnership with Prestonwood Christian Academy and our association with Coach Mike Maack,” commented Paul Rogers, the Managing Partner of the Blue Sox ownership group. “We are grateful for the enthusiasm with which we have been received by the PCA and Plano communities, and we look forward to many exciting years of TCL baseball at Graham Field.”

The Blue Sox joined the Texas Collegiate League as one of its eight original members in 2004 and played the last two seasons at Scotland Yard on the campus of Highland Park High School. The Blue Sox, which are owned by a group of 17 limited partners who reside in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex including Plano, were unable to secure a lease for that facility for 2006 and began looking for a new home in the fall of 2005.

Graham Field was completed in 2005 and has a seating capacity of approximately 500. The natural grass lighted facility is located just off Hebron Parkway in front of the Prestonwood Christian Academy Field House. PCA is a member of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. Prestonwood Baptist Church, which has over 25,000 members, sits adjacent to Graham Field at 6801 West Park Boulevard. The complex is located approximately one mile west of the Dallas North Tollway.

“Because I am a fan of the great game of baseball, I am personally delighted to welcome the Plano Blue Sox to Graham Field,” said Dr. Jack Graham, Pastor of the Prestonwood Baptist Church and for whom the baseball park is named. “Our congregation and local community will be thrilled to see some of the finest collegiate baseball players in the world. With Mike Maack coaching the Blue Sox team, we know we will see exciting and winning baseball at one of the highest levels.”

Maack brings an extensive baseball background to the Blue Sox. He was a lefthanded pitcher in the Minnesota Twins organization from 1982-85 and coached in the collegiate ranks for 13 years as an assistant at Central Florida (1988-96) and the University of Tennessee (1996-98) and as the head coach at Tennessee Tech University (1998-2000). Maack also has summer collegiate league experience, serving as the head coach of the Harwich Mariners in the Cape Cod League.

He is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on the pickoff move for a lefthanded pitcher. Maack spoke on the subject at the 2006 American Baseball Coaches Association Convention in Chicago and is the author of the book, “The Move.”

Since coming to Prestonwood Christian Academy in 2001, Maack’s baseball teams have won a pair of District Championships and were the State Runner-Up in 2004. He was selected as the TAPPS 3A Coach of the Year in 2004.

“It’s exciting that college baseball is coming to Plano and even more exciting that it will be here at Graham Field at Prestonwood,” explained Maack, who pitched at Miami-Dade South C.C. and Tulane University. “We designed this field in hopes that some day this would happen. I’m extremely honored to be asked to coach the Plano Blue Sox. With my background as a player and 20 years of experience as a college and high school coach, I’m confident it will be a positive experience for everyone involved. I look forward to the challenges ahead and of competing in one of the premier college summer leagues in the country. It’s going to be exciting baseball!”

Maack will also serve as the pitching coach for the Blue Sox. His assistant coaches will be former University of Dallas head coach Sam Blackmon, now at St. Mark’s School in Dallas, and Mark Flatten from Frisco Centennial High School.

The Blue Sox will play 24 home games at Graham Field with the home opener scheduled for Friday, June 9 versus the Weatherford Wranglers. All home games will begin at 7:35 p.m. except for a doubleheader with the Euless Lone Stars on Saturday, July 15, a 5:05 p.m. start, and its game on Sunday, June 18 with Denton, which begins at 7:05 p.m..

The Blue Sox will remain a member of the Tris Speaker Division, which also includes the Coppell Copperheads, Euless Lone Stars, McKinney Marshals, and the TCL’s newest team, the Duncanville Deputies. Plano opens the season with a 7:05 p.m. game at Duncanville on Tuesday, June 6.

The Texas Collegiate League begins its third season in 2006 with nine teams playing schedules of 48 regular season games. Over 200 of the nation’s top collegiate prospects will participate in the league in 2006. In addition to the five teams in the Tris Speaker Division, the Rogers Hornsby Division includes the defending TCL champion Denton Outlaws as well as the Graham Roughnecks, Mineral Wells Steam and Weatherford Wranglers.

For more information on the Texas Collegiate League, please call 817-339-9367 or go to www.texascollegiateleague.com. Information on the Plano Blue Sox can be obtained by calling 214-740-8278 or by going to www.tclbluesox.com.




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