Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Bandettes and the Jr Bandettes at the Bandits-Rock Game

After last week's game in which the Bandits took sole possession of the top spot in the NLL East, Buffalo knew that they'd have a fight on their hands to keep it. When it comes to fighting with the Bandits, there's no team that does it more than the Toronto Rock, with whom the battles are near legendary....and it's fighting that goes beyond the scoresheet and frequently lands several players in the penalty box. This game was also a big scoresheet battle as it seemed that whenever the Bandits scored to take the lead, the Rock would find a way to tie it up despite a strong showing by Bandits goaltender Anthony Cosmo. In the end though, the Bandits' fresher legs (Toronto played Friday night) helped them come out on top with a 12-10 win, expanding their division lead to a game and a half over the Knighthawks, their next opponent when the Bandits travel to Rochester Saturday night.
It was a special night in a few ways besides the game itself. For one, the Bandettes were accompanied by the Jr Bandettes for their pregame performance as the Bandits faithful saw some of the girls who will eventually be suiting up for the Bandettes in the next several years. Ashley, who came back to the squad to be an Ambassador, even joined in the performance, showing she's still got the moves to go along with her beauty. To help out with the Jr Bandettes, former director Erin J (who still refuses to age as she looks as stunning, if not more so, as she did in her days with the Jills) and former captain Meghan (2006-2010) were on hand. Meghan's daughter was even one of the Jr Bandettes. In addition, Jessica spent her evening in a management role, something that she informed me she's transitioning into on a full-time basis soon.
Bull talking about Tucker Williams as he watches on via the iPad with Ashley and Stephanie onhand
The Bandettes in their "Braver than Brave" shirts
In the case of the Bandits, they also had something big going on. The 8-year old son of alternate captain Shawn Williams, was recently diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma and, in support of him, at different points throughout the day, the Bandits, Bandettes, and several members of the Bandits support staff wore special t-shirts with the quote "Braver Than Brave" on the front, and the boy's name, Tucker, on the back. The shirts will soon be available at the Sabres store and proceeds will go to the Tucker Williams foundation. Both teams even wore stickers on their helmets in honor of Tucker. Tucker is usually at all the Bandits games but was unable to make this game, which happened to be on his birthday. Tucker watched the game from afar and Face-Timed with the fans early in the game...and got a special treat in return as the fans sang Happy Birthday to him.

Jaclyn, Jessica, Erin Y, and Meghan
Janelle waves to some friends as the Jr Bandettes accompany the Bandettes
Chrissy and Lauren K
Amanda and Chrissy
Cheri loves the camera as much as the camera loves her
Amanda and Kelsey in action
Chelsea and Janelle
When I got to the arena, I got a chance to talk to Stephanie, back after a week out of town, and to Ashley, who Stephanie accompanied on promotional duties for the evening. Stephanie had a wonderful vacation and Ashley, a huge Bills fan, is hopeful but not too confident that she'll be able to get the time off from work in August for the HOF induction of the great Andre Reed, who finally got the call yesterday after 8 years of waiting. I even got a chance to say hi to Erin J and Meghan, who was excited to see her daughter as a Jr Bandette, before heading up to the 100 level. The rest of the squad was unable to do their normal meet-and-greets with the fans before the game, which was expected. The Jr Bandettes program is a pretty big deal and they were focusing their attention on their younger counterparts, making sure they were ready to perform.
Kelsey in the 3rd intermission
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Next up, the Bandits travel to Rochester next Saturday night before returning home to face off against the Philadelphia Wings on February 15th.

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