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TCL TO HAVE NEW COACHES IN GRAHAM AND HIGHLAND PARK

The Texas Collegiate League will feature some faces guiding teams in 2005.

The Graham Roughnecks and Highland Park Blue Sox have both announced the hiring of new head coaches for this summer.

The Roughnecks' new skipper is Kevin (K.J.) Ellis, an assistant at Hill County Community College in Hillsboro, Texas. Ellis replaces Brian Strickland, who guided Graham to the Rogers Hornsby Division championship in 2004. Strickland's duties as head coach at Hill College will prevent him from coaching in Graham this summer.

Leading the Blue Sox will be Sam Carel, volunteer assistant coach at Southwest Missouri State University. Eric Newman and Eric Coleman split the season as head coach at Highland Park in 2004.

Ellis played infield, outfield, and catcher in an eight year pro career from 1992-99. He spent seven years in the Chicago Cubs organization getting as high as triple-A, and then finished his career in the Western League. Ellis played four seasons at Baylor University and was the Bears captain in 1992. He graduated from Baylor with a degree in Telecommunications.

Carel is in his second season at Southwest Missouri State, working primarily with the hitters and infielders. Prior to joining the Bears, Carel was a successful amateur coach in both Arlingtn, Texas and Missouri. He has also been an assistant coach at Springfield (MO) Catholic High School and worked as an associate scout for the San Francisco Giants. Carel was previously a student assistant with Southwest Missouri State's baseball program from 1997-2000. He graduated from SMS in 1999.

The Texas Collegiate League opens its second season with a home and home series between Mineral Wells and Weatherford on Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5. Ellis and Carel will both make their TCL debuts on June 7. Graham hosts Weatherford at 7:05 p.m. that evening while Highland Park travels to Euless for a 7:35 p.m. contest.


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