Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bandette of The Week Abby

This week, rookie Abby takes the spotlight as our Buffalo Bandette of The Week. Spending her gamedays on Lauren's line, this leggy brunette lives to dance and eventually hopes to perform in Vegas one day. While dance is her passion, and she's also working in the fitness industry, she's also hoping to find something else that's fulfilling and that she can use to help others. Abby definitely seems to be enjoying herself on the Bandettes this season  and with a close-knit squad like they are, it'd be hard not to. At the same time though, beyond the fun, she's also taking most aspects of it quite seriously and, judging by her dancing, puts in extra practice work on her own. To earn a spot on the squad, being a good dancer is a given but some go a little further and she seems to be one of those ladies. While I'm no expert on dancing, I do notice stuff on occasion and Abby's style is very reminiscent of Jills choreographer Kelli Wagner. You can read more about Abby at Abby's secondary photo is from the recent game against the Minnesota Swarm. While the Bandettes were waiting to head out for pregame, I grabbed this pic. Shown posing for a photo are Abby and Bandettes coach Erin Y.
Abby and Erin Y
From the Jills comes a photo from the 2007 preseason home opener against Atlanta. Prior to the game, a quartet of Jills ambassadors came out to the parking lots to sell the then-recently-released Jills Swimsuit Calendars. Shown posing for a photo are Vincenza and Jessica D.
Vincenza and Jessica D

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Bandettes and Alumnae at the Bandits-Swarm game

It was Native American Night in Banditland as one of the NLL's most popular franchises paid homage to the origins of the game including the performance of a Native American Smoke dance at halftime. When it comes to the game on the field, the Bandits have been hovering at around .500 all season and entered the final third of the season with a 6-6 record, hoping to finish strong to improve their 3rd place standing in the NLL East. When they last faced the Minnesota Swarm, the Bandits had a huge lead that they almost gave up before pulling away to take the win in a week 5 matchup at the First Niagara Center. Last night's game started off in a similar way as the Bandits had 5 goals before the visiting Swarm tallied a single point. Even with the Swarm the healthiest they've been all season though, they couldn't mount a comeback and the Bandits kept them at bay all night long and sent them home with a 12-8 loss.
Mandy at the program booth
A brunette Casey posing with Amanda T
Beth, Kelsey, and Alicia
Danielle, LeAnne, Amanda H, Kimmy, Denise, Erin H, Justina, Noelle, and Karla
Besides it being Native American Night, it was a big night for another reason as, in celebrating their 15th season of existence, the Buffalo Bandettes were joined by a couple dozen of their alumnae in greeting fans coming into the game as well as a special halftime performance. One alum even went a little above and beyond as she joined the 2015 Bandettes in some of their normal gameday routines.
When we got to the arena, Bandettes captains Lauren and Mandy were handling program sales. After talking to each of them for a bit, it was up the west escalators where we were greeted by 9 Bandettes alums. While Kelsey and Amanda T only just retired, the rest of the ladies hadn't suited up as Bandettes in a few years but it didn't show as they still looked as if they were in the prime of their careers. Well, admittedly Casey didn't look like that...only because she did away with her signature blond hair. After working with her the last few weeks, Amanda couldn't picture her as a blonde so she'll be sure to be checking out some of Casey's old pics. As for myself, even though I had already seen plenty photos of Casey as a brunette, it was still something to see in person finally. After a conversation with Beth, who I hadn't seen since she left the Jills 3 years ago, it was off to the other end of the escalators where the rest of the alums were on hand along with the current Bandettes squad. It wasn't long before the ladies had to head in so I only got a chance to talk to Karla and Kimmy for a little bit.  Karla, as long time readers well know, was a regular contributor when the site first started as a Yahoo Club and Kimmy was one of the ladies who wasn't dancing at last night's game. As it turns out, she and Justina, who only cheered together in the Bandits' championship season of 2008, are both giving birth in the next month or so. In all, 12 of the 17 ladies from that season were on hand for this reunion including coaches Erin J and Jaclyn. Before the ladies headed back to the locker room, I got a quick chance to say hi to Marissa and see some of the posters from the 1st years of the Bandettes that her mother brought along. Marissa took them with her to the locker room to show off not only to the ladies she used to cheer with (she spent 6 years as a Jill and 3 as a Bandette) but to the more recent Bandettes to show them some of their history.
Dancing up a storm in pregame
Stephanie, Noelle, and Casey after the team has come out
MaKenzie, LB, and Chrissy
LB''s line performing
Janelle, Lauren, Stephanie, and Abby performing as everyone waits for Cosmo to come out
LaToya and Cheri
After we got to our seats, Marissa's mother and daughters joined us for a bit, waiting for her and the squad to come out.  Marissa's older daughter was part of the Jr Bandettes program a few weeks ago and was proudly sporting her tee-shirt from that game and I'm sure is hoping to follow in her mother's footsteps as a Bandette and as a Jill. Before the game, when I got to the arena, I had talked to Lauren about the dances they'd be doing and she informed me that they'd have a special guest for their 1st intermission performance. I was wondering who she could be referring to until the Bandettes and alumnae came out to welcome the team onto the field. The Bandettes were in uniform of course with the alums all sporting shirts that said "Once a Bandette, Always a Bandette" except for one. LB, a recently retired captain who always kept me on my toes, was in full uniform like the 2015 Bandettes. It didn't end with pregame though as, when Mandy's line came out to perform during the 1st quarter, Mandy wasn't in charge. LB was captaining the line for a quarter before joining the 2015 squad onfield at 1st intermission. At halftime, the Bandettes alumnae came out to perform along with the current squad and, as in-stadium announcer Swennie noted, it was hard to tell them apart as no one showed any rust as they performed together.
everyone performing at halftime
the beautiful MaKenzie cheering on a goal
Lauren's line in action in the 4th quarter
After the game, I got a chance to talk to Melissa a bit as well as Amanda H, LB, Stephanie, and LaToya before heading home. Bringing back all these ladies was a great experience for them as well as the fans. I only wish I had had more time to talk to them all...and that several ladies had been able to make it to this event. Even if they can't do these every year they should definitely bring back the meet-and-greet fundraiser they held in 2011-12 when several alumnae were on hand helping out the then-current squad. See all the pics at

Next up, the Bandits have a week off before they play host to the New England Black Wolves on April 4th at the First Niagara Center with a chance to improve on their playoff standings.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Bandette of The Week Brianna

This week, we feature Brianna as our Buffalo Bandette of The Week. While not being seen in action last season, she's actually a veteran as she spent the 2013 season as a Bandettes Ambassador. Making it as a full-fledged dancer is something she's pretty excited about and she's doing her best to make the most of her opportunity. Her time as a Bandette isn't the only way she's working to make the most of things as she's working her way towards becoming a bank manager one day. Unfortunately, as is the case in cheerleading quite often, work sometimes can keep you from being able to do things you love and Brianna had put an end to her 2015 season with the Bandettes. She is still hopeful to make a comeback in 2016 depending on her schedule and her warm personality and bright smile will definitely be welcomed back. You can read more about Brianna at Brianna's secondary photo comes from the January game vs Minnesota. Before the game, the Bandettes were greeting fans as they came up the escalators to the 100 level. Shown at the west end of the escalator bank are members of Mandy's line, Chrissy, Brittany, MaKenzie, Mandy, Brianna, and Jennifer.
Chrissy, Brittany, MaKenzie, Brianna, and Jennifer
From the Jills comes a photo from 2009 when several of the Jills were on hand at Buck's Motorsports to wash motorcycles as part of a fundraiser. Motorcyclists could bring their bikes to the store that day, get them washed for a donation to Mercy Flight, and pose with the Jills and their bike. Shown posing with one of the bikes they washed are Jess, Katy, and Alyssa B.
Jess, Katy, and Alyssa B

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Bandettes at the Bandits-Rock game

When it comes to fierce rivalries, few in sports match the hatred that exists between the Buffalo Bandits and the Toronto Rock. With 4 games separating them from the division-leading Rock, the Bandits played host in the 1st game of a home-and-home weekend with their rivals from the north and the early parts of the game were filled with some of the issues that have plagued the Bandits all season long. Some soft goals allowed and dumb penalties were a key factor in the Rock putting up an 11-7 lead late in the 3rd quarter. Luckily, as fans of the NLL  well know, a game can turn in an instant and the Bandits made the 4th quarter of this Friday the 13th game a horror for Toronto as they poured in 8 goals in the final quarter and 57 seconds while only allowing 1 past returning goalie Anthony Cosmo, who helped in the scoring with 5 assists. The final minute of play turned into a pressure cooker with an incredible 13 penalties assessed, including a pair of match penalties which will likely keep a player out of the lineup for each team in tonight's rematch at the Air Canada Centre. The Bandits have to hope they can ride the momentum of this 15-12 win enough to pull out another win on the weekend.
When I got to the arena, the Bandettes were just inside the gates signing their new posters which, as I posted after the last game, look incredibly sharp, grouping the girls by the lines they perform on. After I grabbed a few photos of the girls at the table as well as of Chrissy and Stephanie selling programs, I took the time to chat with Erin for a few minutes, finding out some more details about next week's return of several Bandettes alums. In all, 25 alumnae will be returning with 18 as dancers with girls from the earlier years of the squad all the way up to a few that only retired after last season.
Rookie beauties Brittany and Melanie
Cheri and Abby
LaToya and Cheri cheering on a goal
Performing at 1st intermission
Last year's stunning rookies, Janelle and Mandy, pose for the camera while Syidah smiles for the camera in the background
When a pair of girls pose for the camera, it just draws in more beautiful women to pose for that pic as well lol
Lauren, Stephanie, and Syidah at halftime
Jennifer cheering on one of the Bandits many 4th quarter goals
Brittany, Melanie, and Chrissy cheering on a goal
See all the pics at
After the game, I took a quick moment to talk to Mandy on my way out and I have a personal observation to make. Last year, her smile and enthusiasm were hard to miss and for her to get a captain's role in only her 2nd season says she impressed her coaches a lot. Seeing the way she carries herself and how she leads her line is not only impressive for a 2nd year vet, but impressive overall. She's become one of the most vocal young ladies on the squad and if she carries herself in her private life as she does as a Bandette, she'll go far in whatever she does.
Next up, the Bandits play in Toronto tonight as they try to close the gap on the East Division leaders and then it's back to Banditland next Saturday night for a matchup with the Minnesota Swarm. The Bandettes will be joined by 25 Bandettes alums from throughout the years and as anyone who remembers the 2011 game against the Boston Blazers can attest, it should be a fun time...and with 3 times the alums joining in, it should be 3 times as much fun.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Bandette of The Week Jennifer

This week, we take a look at tall, dark, and beautiful Jennifer as our Buffalo Bandette  of The Week. Always smiling, Jennifer is originally from Chicago and can find the positive in anything. Already having finished school, she's got plans to one day go back for her Master's degree and isn't letting her future plans stop with her education. She's hoping to one day become an athletic trainer with a professional team like the 716ers or the Bandits and also wants to travel all over the world, including Antarctica. While they won't be traveling to the frozen continent anytime soon, maybe Jennifer can work with the Harlem Globetrotters and travel the world with them. You can read more about Jennifer at Jennifer's secondary photo comes from the Bandits Home Opener when some of the Bandettes were greeting fans at the gates on their way into the game. Shown posing for a photo are Jennifer, Mandy, and MaKenzie.
Jennifer, Mandy, and MaKenzie
From the Jills comes a photo from the 2011 Alumni Open Practice. For the Breast Cancer Awareness game against Philadelphia, the Jills recruited about 150 former Jills to join the 2011 squad for a huge pregame performance and for a few weeks prior, the Fieldhouse was packed during Jills practice time, including one evening in which family and friends were invited to come watch some of the practice. Shown posing for a quick photo before starting are Lisa and Murissa.
Lisa and Murissa

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Bandettes advertising for 26Shirts

For those unaware, 26Shirts is a company that sells sports-related t-shirts for a cause. $8 from every shirt goes to support a family in need. Founded by #BillsMafia co-founder Del Reid, each shirt is available for a total of 2 weeks and is not only supported by the athletes on the shirts, but is sometimes requested by the athlete. Originally, the shirts have been focused on the Bills but started including the Sabres last fall. Now it's time for the Bandits to get involved and who better than the legendary John Tavares, in his 24th season with the team. Past shirts have been advertised by fans and sometimes by the players they feature. In this case, Johnny and several of his teammates modeled the shirts for this design. In addition to the unisex styles that men or women can wear, 26Shirts also has ladies' styles and need models for those as well. The last shirt, which featured HOF RB Thurman Thomas, recruited his wife Patti for the job. This time, with the Bandits' star featured, 26Shirts recruited members of the NLL's premier dance team, the Bandettes as models. Showing off the shirts are 2nd year vet Mandy, 5-year alum Ashley, and 4th year vets Lauren and Stephanie.
The $8 from the Tavares shirt is being split in two, with $4 going to Braver Than Brave, the foundation started in memory of Tucker Willliams, the son of former Bandits star Shawn Williams who recently passed from his battle with Burkitt's Lymphoma. The foundation is dedicated to providing support and awareness of individuals and families battling serious illness. The other $4 is going to the Mental Health Association of Erie County, Inc, which promotes mental health and wellness in the local community and supports individuals and families who are challenged by mental illness. Mental health is a cause close to John Tavares' heart.
Order your shirts and sweatshirts at

Friday, March 6, 2015

Bandette of The Week Melanie

This week, our Buffalo Bandette of The Week is the beautiful Melanie! A rookie in 2015, she can be found dancing on Mandy's line on gamedays and she's far from overwhelmed by performing in the pros. Like most rookies, she was nervous before the Home Opener but after getting one game under her belt, she's become very at ease with the gameday routine in addition to the practices and appearances she's a part of. Away from the squad, she's a certified nurse's assistant with hopes of one day becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner, an interesting career goal when you consider that she says people think she's crazy once they get to know her. Before people get to know her, she says she may seem a bit shy to people at first, and considering she kind of reminds me of Chrissy in regards to getting on camera, I can see that to some extent. We're looking forward to seeing her get more and more acclimated to dancing in the pros so we can see some of her crazy side. She can''t be quite as zany as Stephanie can be, can she? I guess we'll find out. You can read more about Melanie at Melanie's secondary photo comes from the Home Opener against Edmonton. Mandy's line was greeting fans coming up the west bank of escalators to the 100 level. Shown posing for the photo are Jennifer, MaKenzie, Mandy, Brittany, Melanie, and Chrissy
Jennifer, MaKenzie, Mandy, Brittany, Melanie, and Chrissy
From the Jills comes a photo from the 2012 Buffalo Bills season ticket holder draft party. The Jills were always a popular part of the draft parties and that even includes the players. In 2012, popular LB Arthur Moats was in the locker room while fans in attendance were touring it. Before he left for the evening, he brought over his daughter Kaylor to get a photo with the Jills. Shown posing with Kaylor are Christina, Lisa, Omarlla, Courteney, Loren, and Emily.
Christina, Lisa, Omarlla, Courteney, Loren, and Emily with Kaylor

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Bandettes and Jr Bandettes at the Bandits-Swarm game

The 2015 Bandettes!
The NLL regular season is now over half over with the Bandits having come into last night's game against the Colorado Mammoth with a 4-5 record. It's been a tricky season for Buffalo so far with only 3 home games among their 1st 9 but the positive of that is that 6 home games remain of the final 9. They Bandits started off the 2nd half of the season with a hard-fought game against a team whose fanbase rivals that of Banditland. One of the issues for the Bandits this season has been the 4th quarter and after going into the 4th with an 11-11 tie after quarter-ending scores of 4-3 and 6-6, the hope was that the boys in orange could fix their 4th quarter woes. The lack of goaltender Anthony Cosmo didn't prove to be a big issue as backup Davide DiRuscio, in his 1st ever NLL start, was able to step it up and show his worth by shutting out Colorado over the final quarter. Add to that the long-awaited return of the ageless John Tavares to the lineup and the scoring of Alex Kedoh Hill, and the Banditland faithful were sent home happy after a 14-11 win, leaving the Bandits sitting at .500 going into the final 8 games of the season.
Jessica, Kirsten, and Meghan on hand to help with the Jr Bandettes
The Bandits have been doing a theme night every game this season and for this game, it was a salute to service, honoring Western New York heroes in the military, firefighting, law enforcement, and nursing fields. The Bandettes boast 3 young ladies in the nursing field, either studying in it or already working in it. As such, MaKenzie, Melanie, and LaToya are trained and certified First Responders in the event of an emergency and were recognized for that before the game.
Melanie, MaKenzie, and LaToya wave to the crowd
Bandettes and Jr Bandettes lined up to welcome the team to the turf
With the Bandettes on Saturday night, their main focus was the Jr Bandettes and as such, they were kept pretty busy behind the scenes a lot all day long. They started off their day with the Bandits as a part of a photo shirt for 26Shirts. For those unaware, 26Shirts is a Buffalo-based company that has expanded into Chicago and Pittsburgh recently and sells sports-themed t-shirts and sweatshirts. What's truly unique about this company, founded by #BillsMafia co-founder Del Reid, is that the shirts are available for 2 weeks only, and that $8  from every shirt sold goes to support a family in need. The shirts are supported by the players that are featured on them with many of them acting as models for the shirts. The current campaign, which ends tonight at midnight, features HOF RB Thurman Thomas and he and his lovely wife Patti appear in the ads promoting the shirts. Tonight, when the Thurman Thomas shirt finishes its run, the 1st Bandits-themed shirt goes on sale with photos of the people who wore them in yesterday's photoshoot. In addition to members of the Bandits being part of the ad, several of the lovely Buffalo Bandettes dancers donned the shirts for the shoot as well and those photos will be seen about midnight eastern time when the shirts go on sale.
The Bandettes spent the rest of the afternoon leading up to the game working with the Jr Bandettes but when it came time to perform for pregame, they were ready to go and made sure to pose for a few photos beforehand. 2nd year captain Mandy even made a point of welcoming me back after I had to miss the last game due to the weather, roads, and unsafe drivers on them. Mandy also gave me a request that I was unable to fulfill due to how busy the girls were behind the scenes, but I can assure her that we'll be working on it the rest of the season.
The Bandettes in the middle of a performance at 1st intermission
Heading out for halftime
Bandettes and Jr Bandettes performing at halftime
Bandettes and Jr Bandettes posing after their performance
The squad was able to perform during the 4th quarter and, as seen in the pics, a few girls were sporting a new look with MaKenzie's highlights and LaToya's new hairstyle. They both looked great, IMO. After the game, after first running into longtime Jills and Bandettes alum Marissa, I got a chance to talk to a few more alums and Bandettes. Kelsey (2013-14) was there for the game and is looking forward to the next game. In 2011, several Bandettes alums came back and joined the then-current squad for a game, performing on-field like they used to do. Starting this week, practices begin for the next game, March 13th against Toronto, and several Bandettes alums, including Kelsey, will be part of them. Conversations were also had with Jessica, Kirsten, Stephanie, and Mandy and besides hearing about the 26Shirts photoshoot and some of the alumnae returning for next game, I also got to see the new Bandettes posters. This season's is different than past ones in that it has the girls grouped by the lines they dance on during the games. They are the same size as last season's and are pretty sharp, IMO. We should expect to see the Bandettes handing them out and autographing them the next game.
Squad photo at 3rd intermission
Performing during the 4th quarter
MaKenzie, Brittany, Mandy, and Chrissy

You can see all the photos at
The new Bandits-themed 26Shirts will be available starting at midnight tonight for order at
Next up, the Bandits and the Bandettes are getting ready over the next two weeks for the March 13th game against the hated Toronto Rock at First Niagara Center.