Aiken Foxhounds Start Practice

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News 12 at 6, May 8, 2007

Aiken, S.C. -- It's the great American pastime, and this summer, a new team is calling Aiken home....the Aiken Foxhounds. They're just one of six teams in the newly formed South Coast League.

"One of the biggest challenges is probably evaluating the players," Manager Chris Bando said. "There's a lot of guys who've slipped through the cracks so you want to be a good evaluator of them and give them every opportunity to succeed."

Former big leaguer Chris Bando is manager of the Foxhounds. He's in charge of developing these guys. What a wide ranging age group he has.

"We've got a 19 year old and a 41 year old", Bando said. "So we have a little bit of both. The great thing is they're all united and wanting to get to the major leagues."

Arizona State's Jeff Landry is just one guy hoping to get a look at the next level. Having a big leaguer in the dugout helps.

"It's going to be a big impact, just to come out here and learn from these guys. They have a lot of knowledge, it's just what I need, learn from the older guys makes it better" said Jeff Landry.

Then you have 41 year old Anthony Telford. He has nine years of big league experience. Not only is he the pitching coach, he may take to the mound himself, just hoping its not a lot.

Anthony Telford said, "I'm sure I'll make an appearance or two, hopefully not an appearance or two a week but an appearance or two the whole time. I'm really excited, there's no pressure. The only thing I have to do is help these guys succeed. We'll be able to mold and shape these guys the way that we want to. I'm not going to have to deal with attitudes, these guys want to play ball."

There's always been some independent league players who've made it big in the majors. Whether or not we'll see one or two with the foxhounds, that remains to be see.

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