Who are those masked men? They're the Bandits, San Angelo's entry into the Lone Star Football League. Clad in kelly green, silver and black, the Bandits will hit the field inside Foster Communications Coliseum in the spring of 2013.
The new mascot and colors were selected by team owner Randy Sanders from among 98 entries submitted via the Internet. Though Sanders was taken with some of the suggestions, especially the San Angelo Drought with colors of "parched and dry," he sided with the entry offered by Alfonzo Gonzales, who won two sets of season tickets for having named the franchise and being its MVF - most valuable fan.
Sanders has owned multiple professional hockey and football teams over the past eight years, including the Austin Ice Bats and the Amarillo Venom, another Lone Star Football League franchise that is currently second in the standings. Sanders intends to sell the Venom; he also owns a minority interest in the Abilene Ruff Riders, another LSFL team.
The San Angelo Bandits organization will be hiring locally, including a general manager, and establishing an office in San Angelo in the coming months. The team will begin selling season tickets and sponsorships at the Lone Star Football League's championship weekend festivities and game, dubbed "The Texas Shoot-out," at Foster Communications Coliseum on July 20-21.
The Lone Star Football League consists of six teams, including the West Texas Roughnecks, which are based in Midland and play in Odessa; the Corpus Christi Hammerheads, the Laredo Rattlesnakes and the Rio Grande Valley Magic. League Commissioner Darlene Jones is a San Angelo businesswoman who owned San Angelo's last pro football franchise, the Stampede Express. Jones sold the team to Sanders after the 2010 season following its best campaign ever - an 11-5 record and a first-round playoff win.
The team logo will soon be unveiled, followed by the availability of Bandits merchandise. So get behind you new pro indoor football team, the San Angelo Bandits!