Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Bandettes in action at the Bandits-Swarm Game

After nearly a month on the road, at long last it was time to return to Banditland for another Buffalo Bandits NLL Game. With a 2-2 record coming in, the season is nearly a quarter of the way over and the overall direction of the season is still up in the air. With the legendary John Tavares placed on IR, other players were going to have to continue to step up in his absence at least until he returns.
In the Bandits' return to the First Niagara Center, it was proven once again that no lead is absolutely safe in the NLL. The hometown team jumped out to early leads of 5-2 and 12-3 before the Swarm started putting up a real fight, pulling to within 3 as the Bandits' scoring touch seemed to fall off. Luckily for the Bandits, they found enough of a scoring touch again and were able to hold off the Swarm's charge enough to escape with a 15-12 win in their 1st of 2 games on the weekend.
Lauren's line with Hawkman and Iron Man
Mandy's line
I got to the gates shortly after they opened to the fans, a number of whom were dressed up as superheros as part of Superhero night in Banditland. Manning the booths just inside the gates selling programs were rookie Melanie and reigning Bandette of The Week Cheri. After talking to each briefly (Melanie feels a lot more at ease as a Bandette after having already gone through one game already) and grabbing a few photos before heading upstairs to see the rest of the girls. I grabbed a few photos of Lauren's line, including with some fans dressed up as Hawkman, Iron Man, Batman, and Captain America. I talked to Erin briefly and she's hopeful that the Bandettes' page on the Bandits site will be up-to-date very soon. I then went over to spend a bit of time with Mandy's line, including Brianna, back in action after having to miss the opener due to illness. After spending 2013 as an Ambassador and having to cut her 2014 season short, she has no intention of missing another game.
Brittany, Chrissy, and Melanie
Chrissy, Mandy, MaKenzie, and Janelle posing together before 1st intermission
Abby happily watching the Bandits in the lead
Chrissy may not seek out the camera a lot but she never says no when she's
asked to pose, this time by her captain, Mandy
Chrissy, Jennifer, Melanie, and a very happy Brianna

Brittany, Lauren, Janelle, and LaToya finish off their 3rd intermission performance
See all the pics from last night's game at
Next up, the Bandits travel to Rochester on January 31 and to Calgary on February 7th before returning back to Banditland to face the Rochester Knighthawks on February 14th!
Before the Bandettes are back in action in Banditland, they have an appearance coming up as Abby, MaKenzie, and Chrissy will be joining Ryan Benesch, Dhane Smith, and Brandon Goodwin of the Bandits at the annual Buffalo Auto Show from 6-7pm on Thursday, February 5.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Bandette of The Week Cheri

It's said that big things come in small packages and this week's Buffalo Bandette of The Week is living proof of that. Sweet and petite in stature, 3rd year vet Cheri is big in personality and beauty. She's putting her degree in Health and Wellness to work in the health insurance industry away from the field and is showing off her leadership skills in a new role, that of Appearances captain of the Bandettes. Staying fit is a big deal to her but that doesn't dissuade her from making late night runs to Mighty Taco. She's just smart about moderation in what she eats.
You can read more about Cheri at  Cheri's secondary photo comes from the Home Opener when the Bandettes were handing out magnetic schedules to the fans coming into the game. A few members of Lauren's line were at the top of the West Bank of escalators and they posed for a photo while the line of fans was down. Shown in the photo are Cheri, Syidah, LaToya, and Lauren.
Cheri, Syidah, LaToya, and Lauren

From the Jills comes a photo from 2006. That summer, NFL Network put together a competition called the NFL Cheerleader Playoffs featuring pairs of cheerleaders from each squad in the league. They aired it Thursday nights that fall and the Jills took a night off from practice to watch the premiere with the fans at Slick Willie's Sports Bar in Tonawanda. Posing for a photo at that event are Autumn, Valerie, and Rachael.
Autumn, Valerie, and Rachael

Friday, January 23, 2015

Bandette of The Week Chrissy

This week, we take a look at the most-tenured member of the Bandettes squad, 5th year vet Chrissy. It seems like only yesterday she was a wide-eyed rookie just taking things in but she's grown a lot since 2011 and is a co-captain on the squad. Making co-captain should come as no surprise and is actually quite fitting given the fact that her willingness to help others is, she feels, her strongest character trait. Younger squadmates can and do go to her for help and have been doing so for a few years now. While she's more than comfortable in a leadership role, she's a little less so in the spotlight. She loves to dance but seems to prefer doing so as a part of a larger group and when it comes to photographs, while she's happy to pose for them, she doesn't seek it out like some of the camera hams on the squad. Luckily for the fans, this blonde bombshell is somewhere in the middle between camera ham and camera-shy.
You can read more about Chrissy at Chrissy's secondary photo comes from the Home Opener against Edmonton. Prior to the game, the Bandettes were handing out magnetic Bandits schedules to the fans and Chrissy was stationed at the top of the east bank of escalators along with rookies Brittany and Melanie.
Brittany, Melanie, and Chrissy

From the Jills comes a photo from the 2011-12 Buffalo Jills Adult Comedy Show. The Jills used to annually hold a comedy show to help raise money for their program. In January of 2012, the Jills hosted their comedy show at the Tralf Music Hall with master hypnotist Jerry Valley. Shown posing for a photo before the fans started coming in are Jenny, Emily, and Jami.
Jenny, Emily, and Jami

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Looking back at Lindsey's 2014 season as an Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders

Lindsey at tryouts
Once again, we are taking a look at a Buffalo Jill who was fortunate enough to continue to cheer in 2014, albeit with another squad. Lindsey kind of started her career a few years before she tried out for the Jills. She was a frequent attendee at Jills events supporting her friend Lisa and it was only a matter of time before she joined the squad herself. Lindsey spent the 2010-12 seasons on the sidelines at the Ralph and even made co-captain for the 2013, serving under Lisa. However, she decided to leave the squad early on but the desire to cheer was still in her blood. After landing a job in the Atlanta area, she went after a spot as an Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader and, to the surprise of no one, was named a member of the 2014-15 Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders!

Lindsey during a preseason game vs the Titans
Lindsey at an October game vs the Bears
Lindsey at the Falcons finale

You can see more high quality photos of Lindsey and her squadmates at
Lindsey also has some active public social media pages like her Facebook page, where she posted some photos taken from the recent Medal of Honor Bowl that she and some of her squadmates cheered at. She even met a Bills fan there!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Bandette of The Week Lauren K

This week, we start off our 2015 Bandette of The Week series with 4th year vet Lauren K.  The writer for the Buffalo Dance Examiner and dance instructor is adding a new job to her resume in 2015, that of Buffalo Bandettes captain!
After conducting interviews with such stars as Vanessa Williams, Marlon Wayans, and Dancing With The Stars' Sasha Farber, her writing career is just getting started and she's planning on writing a book or two before long as well. She says her favorite foods are pretzels, peanut butter, and pizza which makes me wonder if she cares for Pizza Hut's new pretzel crust?
Lauren has been dancing since the age of 3, and maybe a little bit before that even and getting to dance on the pro level as a member of the NLL's premier dance squad is a dream come true for her, especially when you consider she's been going to Bandits games since she was in elementary school.

You can read more about Lauren at Lauren's secondary photo comes from the Bandits Open Practice after the squad's 1st performance and features members of the line that Lauren is the captain of this season. Shown from left to right are LaToya, Lauren, Syidah, Stephanie, Abby, and Cheri.
Lauren and Stephanie's line

From the Buffalo Jills comes a photo from the 2011 Buffalo Jills Golf Tournament. On occasion, relatives join pro cheerleading squads together, like in this case. Pictured are two young ladies who joined the squad as rookies in 2011. Briana and Jessica are just such an example. The two of them have always been close and when Jessica decided to try out, Briana was the only family member she case she didn't make it, disappointing their whole family. Briana decided to try out with her and, as luck would have it, they both made the squad!
Briana and Jessica

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A look back at Ashley's 2014 season as a TopCat

Sadly, the 2014 NFL season came and went with no Jills on the sideline thanks to the decision to shut the squad down by former Jills director Stephanie Mateczun. However, the Jills did have a pair of alumnae cheering on other teams this past season and doing a great job of it as well. The first of these two young ladies is 2008-09 Jills alum Ashley W. She joined the Jills along with a great rookie class in 2008 and returned in 2009 only to have to leave the squad late in the summer. With her fiery red hair and warm personality, she was joy not only to photograph, but to get to know while she was on the Jills. A few years ago, she and her boyfriend moved to North Carolina and it wasn't long before the urge to get back on the sidelines got her to try out for the Carolina Panthers TopCats cheerleading squad. 2014 was her 3rd year on the TopCats and she spent it as a captain, imparting her wisdom on the younger girls on the squad.
Ashley at a Panthers-Lions game in September
Ashley during the October Panthers-Bears game

Ashley in the October Panthers-Seahawks game
Ashley in a November game vs the Falcons

See all the Panthers TopCats pics, including several more high quality shots of our Miss Ashley, at 
Next week, we'll take a look back at Lindsey C's season on the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders!

Friday, January 9, 2015

2013-14 Bandits Open Scrimmage-revisited

We finish up this look-back series with a look at the 2013-14 Buffalo Bandits Open Scrimmage. Instead of just a normal open practice in 2013, the Bandits instead invited the public to check out a preseason matchup with the Philadelphia Wings. The Bandettes first made an appearance for a pregame performance before circulating through the crowd posing for pics and talking to fans. I caught up with Kirsten's line first and when Danielle saw me, she grabbed rookie Mandy for a quick photo together the way Stephanie O did for her the year before. After that, the rest of the line saw me, giving me big smiles while posing for a photo before they went to greet more fans.
Mandy and Danielle

Kirsten's line
After they went on their way, I watched some more of the game before spotting L.B.'s line. I went over to greet them, with rookie Janelle the new face in the group. I got some big smiles from the group, including Ashley, back with the squad after a season off.
LB's line
You can see the pics at 
We start off our 2015 Buffalo Bandette of The Week series next week, leading off with Captain Lauren K, in her 4th year on the squad.

From the Buffalo Jills comes a photo from 2011. The Bills opened on the road that season and The Q Nightclub in Jamestown, NY held a season opener party complete with an appearance by the Buffalo Jills. Making the trek to the Southern Tier were Murissa and three rookies-Melissa, Jenny, and Myesha. The girls greeted fans, posed for photos, and even put on a performance at halftime.
Melissa, Jenny, Myesha, and Murissa

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Bandettes at the Bandits Home Opener

It's that time of year again, an exciting time for fans of the NLL, the fastest game on two feet. It's Opening Weekend and the Bandits, the only team with a double-header weekend to start the season, came into their home opener already down a game in the NLL Playoff race after a loss in Connecticut to the former Philadelphia Wings, since moved and renamed the New England BlackWolves.
The Bandits started off their home opener strong behind 5 goals from Ryan Benesch and carried a 9-5 lead going into the closing seconds of the 3rd quarter. In the NLL, however, a big lead can disappear quickly and less than 6 minutes of playing time later, the Bandits' lead dwindled to a 9-8 score. A huge penalty that put transition man David Brock in the penalty box for 7 minutes could've killed the team but the fight he got into to earn the penalties got them fired up enough that they held off the Edomnton Rush the rest of the way, sending the Banditland faithful home happy with a 9-8 win!
When I got to the arena, the Bandettes were out in full force greeting fans and handing out magnetic schedules after having done their photo shoot earlier in the day. Hopefully that's a sign their site will be updated very soon. Erin was downstairs with a half-dozen of the girls who were greeting fans as they came in.
Janelle, Stephanie, and Abby
After spending some time talking to Jennifer and Erin, I headed up the west stairs to where Lauren, Cheri, LaToya, and Syidah were holding court. It wasn't long before we had a visit from a pair of Bandettes alumnae in the form of Alicia and just-retired captain Kirsten. Anyone who knows Kirsten knows she loves getting her photo taken so they just had to get a photo taken.
Cheri, Syidah, Alicia, LaToya, Kirsten, and Lauren
After getting some directions from Lauren, I headed over to the east end of the escalators where Chrissy, Melanie, and Brittany were posing for photos with fans. Chrissy is now the longest-tenured vet on the squad and between visits from other fans, we got to talking about how far she's come since her rookie season. We also discussed something else, about how Stephanie was the lone remaining confirmed camera ham on the squad, something which Chrissy admits to never being herself despite her beauty.
Brittany, Melanie, and Chrissy
After it was time to head in and I made it to my seats, I got to watch a little of the team warming up before the Bandettes made it out to where they posed for a squad photo, likely the 1st of many we'll be taking this season.
Squad photo minus Brianna

While it's true that Stephanie, a co-captain in her 4th season (my how time flies) is the only remaining confirmed camera ham on the squad with the retirements of Kirsten and Chelsea, it does seem one particular rookie may be starting to make a mark as one as well as I noticed LaToya playing it up to the camera on occasion. For a photographer, there's nothing better than to work with someone who loves the camera.
Stephanie and LaToya
Mandy, Brittany, and Chrissy
Bandettes in action at the half
spelling out One Buffalo with their shirts

See all the pics at

The Bandits are on the road for the next few weeks but they, and the Bandettes, are next in action at First Niagara Center on January 30 as they play host to the Minnesota Swarm.

Friday, January 2, 2015

2012-13 Bandits Open Practice-revisited

In December of 2012, the Bandits held their open practice for the fans like they did every year but they had a little twist involving the Bandettes that season. Some years, they just get to perform and others they get interviewed by the Bandits' emcee, Swennie. In 2012-13 however, they got introduced individually. When I got there, they were just getting set to perform their first routine at the start of practice. Luckily I was in position quickly to grab video of their performance, which was followed up by the squad lining up in 2 columns and performing a bit individually while Swennie introduced them. The only negative to that was that he mispronounced Alicia's name.
squad photo minus Kirsten and Chelsea
After their performance, the Bandettes circulated through the arena meeting fans, signing autographs, and posing for photos while the Buffalo Bandits worked through the 1st portion of practice. Knowing that it can sometimes be tricky learning a bunch of new names all at once, reigning NLL Girl of The Year Stephanie O took it upon herself to help me out with one of her squadmates anyway as she introduced me to rookie Danielle while getting a photo with her.
Stephanie and Danielle
About halfway through the practice, the Bandettes were once again back on the turf performing for the fans to the tune "Love Is Strange," a song made popular again in 1987 in the movie Dirty Dancing after having 1st been released in 1956. Afterwards, it was back to the stands and concourses and even had time to pose for some line shots.
LB's line
Kirsten's line minus Kirsten and Chelsea
You can see all the pics at
From the Buffalo Jills comes a photo from a few years ago, in 2009. The Bills faced off against the Titans in the HOF game the day after HOF inductions and, unlike this past season, the Jills were on one set of sidelines for the game with the Titans cheerleaders on the other side. For the game, I had end zone seating but as people started leaving in the 4th quarter, I moved over to the sidelines where some of the Jills were. Posing for this photo are Loren, Gabrielle, and Kaitlin.
Loren, Gabrielle, and Kaitlin