In May of this year, a Buffalo sports team won a National Championship for the 1st time since 1996. While the Bills and Sabres have been breaking our hearts for decades, the Buffalo Bandits consistently have been putting a winning product on the field year-in and year-out. After some early exits for the playoffs and a defeat in the NLL Championship Game in recent years, the Bandits delivered another championship to Buffalo, a city starved for winners.
That was the past and it's time to look to the future, and defending that title and most of the familiar faces return to the field to do so. However, the Bandettes cheering them on will be a lot different as 7 of last year's 15-girl squad chose to move on, going out on top. 8 of the Bandettes return from last year in addition to a pair of familiar faces from a few years back along with 5 fresh faces, all hoping to end the season the same way as last year.
As is tradition, the Bandits and Bandettes get together to hold an Open Practice every December to give the fans a look at what to expect from the 2009 season. For the Bandits, that means a regular practice in front of the fans, giving them a look at who's back and who's not. Afterwards, an autograph signing session takes place, showing the fans how real and human these athletes really are. For the Bandettes, it includes meeting and posing with the fans and recruiting some Junior Bandettes for the upcoming season. The Bandettes also held an autograph session before during and after the Bandits' session and posed for pictures with the NLL's Champions Cup. And of course, what dance squad could get away without doing a performance and at midway through the actual practice, the Bandettes took the field to give the players a break and show off their stuff and introduce themselves to the fans.