Your Lady 716ers coaches!

Your Lady 716ers coaches!
Director LaToya and Coordinator Loren

Friday, November 20, 2015

2010 Buffalo Jills Open Practice-revisited

After the success of the 2009 Open Practice, the Jills made the call to keep it going the following year but instead of holding it during the season, the choice was made to hold one in the summer, before many girls were going away to cheerleading camps. As it turned out, they scheduled this practice shortly after they returned from their calendar trip in Jamaica so they were rested up and anxious to start practicing and to share their practice time with the next generation of Buffalo Jills.
Jills practices typically have started at 6:30 but when I showed up shortly after 6, the squad was already hard at work starting to learn new cheers and routines for the 2010 season. Before long, we were joined by the next generation of Jills who were all ready to learn a sideline routine. Unfortunately, the turnout wasn't nearly as large as it had been the previous September so rather than split up into several small groups, these young ladies learned from the entire squad at once.
After learning their routine, they got to demonstrate it for their parents before the Jills showed off some of the routines they had learned since making the squad 2 months prior.
Danielle, Lisa, and Natalie
Laura, Stefanie, Kristen, Nicole, and Alyssa
Loren and Natalie with Loren's biggest fan
One of the cool things for me was getting to meet the 5 rookies, Amanda V, Morgan, Taryn, Reena, and Sarah S, who hadn't appeared at the Bills draft parties. We also got to see returning alums Brianne and Stacy back in action after a year absence but the most special of all that day was rookie dancer Emily, who just happened  to be celebrating her 19th birthday that day.
Reena, Stacy, and Eileen

See all the pics at
From the Bandettes comes a photo from the home finale against New England when the Bandettes were selling autographed lacrosse balls to raise money for the organization. Shown posing for a photo are rookie Syidah and Melanie. Syidah will be a veteran when we see the Bandettes at the FNC on December 5th but sadly, the lovely Melanie decided not to return for a 2nd season.
Syidah and Melanie

Monday, November 16, 2015

Buffalo Red Zone auditions on Wednesday!

Wednesday November 18th at the BAC for Women, Colvin Eggert Plaza, Tonawanda, NY. Registration at 6 pm. Workshop 6:30-9:30 pm. Dress in appropriate practice wear and bring inside shoes for the workshop. No street shoes allowed in the gym. Open to ladies 18 and up. Please come in full hair and makeup for head shots. Warm up with the BAC staff prior to the workshop. $30 registration fee to cover insurance & facility fee.
1st appearance 12/6 at the BILLS vs.Texans game. Our home base will be at the WGR 550 Tailgate on Abbott Road along with other popular Game Day favorite areas. Contact us to register at

Friday, November 13, 2015

2010 Buffalo Bills Draft Parties-revisited

In 2010, the NFL made a major change to its college draft format by starting the draft Thursday night and following it up with a Friday night session before finishing up Saturday afternoon. In 2009, the Bills held a draft party Saturday for all their season ticket holders but had to change things up with the format change in 2010. To accommodate fans as best they could, they held  3 separate draft parties with premium seat holders invited the 1st night and season ticket holders the other 2 sessions. With two of the events held in the evening, they put them all in the fieldhouse instead of the stadium.
I made it there for the Friday session shortly before it opened up and got a chance to talk to Kristen on her way in while I was waiting in line. She had made it onto the dance squad for the season after spending her rookie year as an ambassador and she was more than excited about it. After getting inside, I spent the bulk of the evening at the Jills booth taking photos, meeting rookies, and catching up with the vets.  The booth was stationed right next to the Bills alumni booth and the great Booker Edgerson visited with us for a little bit and grabbed some photos with the ladies. I wasn't there the entire time though as a few buddies showed up that I hadn't seen since the end of the season.
Courteney and Kristen
I also did make sure to accompany Loren and Jessica W as they visited the Quizmaster's booth as Dennis George was starting up a game of Family Feud with Loren and Jessica as the captains for the opposing teams. I was also front and center as several of the Jills dancers took the stage to perform for the crowd to the tune of a remix of Ke$ha's "Tic Toc" before heading back to the booth. The negative to the performance was that those running the event made a error on the lighting as they had the tv screen behind the dancers lit up in all white, which made it look on camera like the Jills were mainly silhouettes.

Lisa and Lindsey with Billy Buffalo
See  all the pics at
After the event was over, I stopped off at my hotel room before grabbing dinner with a few friends and then it was off to Lauderdale's down the road from the stadium. A bar that is now known as Jack Devine's, they were hosting some friends of mine who were playing for the patrons. Studio 54 formerly were fronted by 2005 Buffalo Jill Ashlee A and while she was no longer with the band, they did have another Jills alum singing with them that night. 2003 Jills alum Aimee L had sung with Disco Duck and the Naughty Dawg Band up to that point and was onhand visiting her friend Ashley, who was the lead female singer for Studio 54 at the time. Aimee joined in for a few songs when we weren't talking about the Jills and exchanged some info that was kept from the girls while they were on the squad. A few months after this, Aimee helped form The Teasers, an extremely popular band based in Lockport that shut down after 4 years. However, a few weeks ago, the group reunited for a photo, getting fans anxious to find out if the band may reunite...and as it turns out, they're reuniting for a reunion concert at the Lockport Pub on December 12th!
The next morning, it was back to the Fieldhouse, this time meeting up with a couple of my tailgating buddies there. After we got inside, I split my time between them and the Jills where I met a few more of the rookies who had made the 2010 squad. However, that time with the Jills wasn't spent just at the booth as some of the girls decided to check out some of the other exhibits around the event. One of those exhibits was the QB challenge where Lindsay and Nicole had a little bit of fun.
Amanda F, Ruby, and Natalie
Before long, it was time to hit the stage as the Jills dancers that were on hand performed like they had the evening before and some of them actually had performed the evening before as while most Jills only appeared at one of the Draft Party events, a few were at 2 or even all 3 of them. Unfortunately, the lighting was still an issue as the screen behind the Jills as they performed was lit up like it was the previous evening.

At this Saturday draft party, the turnout wasn't as strong as previous nights so the Jills had plenty of time to have fun as well as meet and greet the fans. Kelly and Murissa even got a chance to explore the inflatable slide.
rookies Emily, Jaclyn, and Jen
See all the pics at
From the Bandettes comes a photo from the regular season finale against New England. Shown cheering on a Bandits goal is outgoing appearances captain Cheri. She spent 3 seasons on the Bandettes and has been known for her strong work ethic and her beauty. Sweet and petite in physical stature, she leaves big shoes behind to fill.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Buffalo Red Zone team aims to fill the void while we wait for the Jills to return

About a year and a half ago, a huge void was created when Stejon Productions President Stephanie Mateczun made the choice to shut down operations of the Buffalo Jills. The reasons why she did so aren't totally clear but speculation is that the move was financially-based since several sponsors, including the Bills, backed out of their agreements after the allegations about how she ran the squad came to light in the lawsuit filed against Stejon, Citadel Radio, the Bills, and the NFL. 
That all being said, the fact of the matter is, we need the Jills back. Reaction to their absence from the sidelines has been mixed but anyone who knows the first thing about pro cheerleading knows that their biggest impact isn't on adults watching the games, but on the children in the community. In 2008, with 48 ladies on the Jills, they still had troubles meeting all the appearance requests they had so it's hard to think that the Bandettes and Lady 716ers can cover everything.

For those worried that this squad will make people forget the Jills, don't be. While we all want the Jills to return, and they shall once all the legal issues are resolved, this isn't meant to replace them. This squad is meant to help fill the voids left by the squad being shut down. There are community events that need covered that aren't being filled. There are also several young women who are qualified to join a pro cheerleading/dance squad but lack the opportunity due to the lack of spots that were available on the Lady 716ers and the Bandettes.
To help fill the void, Diane Ringer is putting together the Buffalo Red Zone Cheer and Dance team to make game day appearances at Bills games, community events, and charity events. Outside of charity events, compensation for the young ladies involved on the team will happen in time. Sponsorships will be put together from supporting businesses to ensure that no one will feel exploited. The goal, for the time being, is to fill the same role in the Western NY Community that the Gotham City Cheerleaders fill with Giants fans in the NYC area.
A new squad may, in fact, speed up the process of returning the Jills to the sidelines. Obviously nothing can be done until legal issues are resolved, that of the lawsuit and maybe even that of who runs the squad. A new squad won't be contracted out ever again but will be run by the Bills organization directly to avoid what allegedly happened under Stejon. Once the legal issues are resolved, a squad that's already operating can help prove to the Bills how much of an asset that having a squad is and instead of starting the new Jills over from scratch, a temporary squad can be a solid foundation upon which to build on.
Learn more about the Buffalo Red Zone at

Friday, November 6, 2015

2010 Buffalo Jills 1st cuts-revisited

Less than a week after the tryout process began with the Open Practice, we were back at the Conference Center of Niagara Falls for 1st cuts. As per usual, I was one of the 1st ones there to help set up as, for the second season in a row, 1st cuts were open to the public. 1st cuts had been done at the Conference Center before but the Grand Ballroom wasn't set up for an audience. Luckily, they had us set up with a stage, seating, a judge's platform, and even a backstage area where the hopefuls could prepare in their Event Center. Joining us to help out with the process were Kelly Ann (2003-04,09), Kelly H (2002-08), and Kristin B (2008-09).
Amanda F and Kelly Ann
We had met a few prospective rookies and saw a few alums who had decided to give it a go at coming back at the workshop. However, not everyone can make it to that Open Workshop or decides to try out after the workshop and goes to the Optional Workshop held on Thursday night before 1st cuts take place. Among those alums who decided at the last minute were Stacy and Anna. Stacy had been on the squad in 2007 but left early while Anna spent all of 2008 and a part of 2009 as a Jill. One of the prospective rookies we met was Emily, a friend of Nicole and Kristen's.
Nicole and Kristen with their friend Emily
Returning alum Stacy with Eileen
One of the fun things about tryouts is the opportunity to make yourself stand out to the judges and one way vets have typically done that is with matching outfits. On occasion, some rookie hopefuls tried this but the tricky part of that was ensuring they performed together while vets were able to ensure they were able to by getting to select their numbers ahead of time. Val and Lisa were always #1 and #2, for example because they chose those numbers each time. The negative to that was the previous year when I didn't take video of them...but in 2010, I was set up to video all the dancers.
Matching outfits for Gabrielle and Loren
Val and Lisa in matching outfits
After everyone had performed, it was time to wait for the judges' deliberations and while waiting, there were some fans anxious for photo ops, including a few who hope to be on the sidelines one day themselves. After the results were posted and most of those who missed the cut left, squad management went over a few things with the ladies that remained before several of us went over to the Hard Rock for lunch...and so that Val could get a look at hers and Lisa's
Group shot with a future Jill?
Murissa, Anna, and Stefanie
Listening to what's to come in the 2nd round after 1st cuts are done
See all the pics at
From the Bandettes comes a photo from the 1st quarter of the April game against the Vancouver Stealth. Shown shortly after a Bandits goal is scored is 5th year vet Chrissy. Sadly, Chrissy decided to call it a career after the season ended and won't be back for 2016. Thankfully, she leaves us with many memories from over the years.
Brittany and Chrissy