Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

A few tidbits to catch up on regarding the Teasers and the Bandettes

The Teasers at the Lockport Pub in December
First up, we have the Teasers. The popular cover band based in Lockport featuring Jills alum Aimee L (2003) split up less than 2 years ago had a pair of reunion gigs the last few months and at the 1st of them, the Lockport Pub even ran out of several brands of beer. In the article on the event, I speculated that it wouldn't be the last time we saw them together and, after a successful reunion at Scruples in Newfane, they're back at the Lockport Pub on March 19. The fun starts at 9:30 and I'm sure they learned their lessons in regards to beer.
Last week, the Bandettes traveled to Toronto to cheer on the Bandits and engage in a "cheer battle" with the Toronto Rock Cheerleaders. As readers are well aware, we generally only share our own photos on this site but do occasionally share a few from the Bandettes Facebook page on our Facebook page. Those photos are generally taken by AP Photographer Bill Wippert. Unfortunately, the game in Toronto featured few cheerleader photos. Only 2 of them at showed our Bandettes at all. However, a Toronto Rock super-fan takes plenty of photos that he shares with the public of the Rock AND the Rock Cheerleaders on his Facebook. He did get a good number of them with the Bandettes as well. Check them out at
Sarah, Jessica, Karley, and Deanna with a pair of Rock Cheerleaders
The Bandettes take the field

Finally, many may have noticed that the Bandettes page on currently doesn't exist. We aren't really sure of what is going on with that. The Bandettes' bios and headshots are all ready to put up on the website and have been in the Bandits' possession for over a month. Our Bandette of The Week feature has still been going strong and has been getting a lot of attention from Bandettes fans. Without the Bandits website being up-to-date, we have 1 person to really give props to for that. This season, the Bandettes have gone without a full-time coach, with captains Mandy and Stephanie handling the bulk of the extra work.  Even with all that extra responsibility, Mandy has really come through for the fans and the girls on the squad in assuring we have information to share so that the Bandettes can all continue to get features they're happy to share with family and friends. When you see Mandy at the games, make sure to give her major props for doing this for all of us.
Mandy at the Swarm game

Friday, February 26, 2016

Bandette of The Week Rachel

This week, raven-haired beauty Rachel gets the spotlight treatment as our Buffalo Bandette of The Week. Spending her gamedays on Mandy's line, she's been dancing since she was three years old. Truth be told though, she was probably dancing even in the womb. Through her time on the Bandettes thus far, there's one thing I've noticed about her that stands happy she is when she's dancing. Her smile never seems broader than when she's out at midfield performing. She's been dancing with a local dance company for several years now but although she enjoys it immensely, she longed to take it to a professional level and tried out for the Bandettes. It's been said many times on this site how close-knit the Bandettes squad generally is and that's been one of Rachel's favorite aspects of being a Bandette. She relishes the friendships she's built with her squadmates and the times shared together at practices and games. Away from dancing and the Bandettes, Rachel has the goal of joining several Jills and Bandettes alums in making Buffalo the home to some of the most beautiful nurses in the country. She doesn't plan to only ply her trade in the Queen City however as she has plans to volunteer abroad in Cambodia, helping the villagers in the historic city of Siem Reap. Rachel's secondary photo is from the Home Opener against Edmonton. You can see from the look on her face how focused she can be when she dances. Shown in this picture are Jackie, Rachel, and Tirzah.
Jackie, Rachel, and Tirzah
From the Jills comes a photo from the Buffalo Jills Fundraiser held at SoHo in September of 2008. Shown posing for a photo are a pair of 2008 rookies, Rita and Ashley. Rita left the squad for a few years but returned in 2012 while Ashley moved to Carolina and had a 3-year career with the TopCats.
Rita and Ashley

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Bandettes at the Bandits-Swarm game

After Friday's collapse in Toronto, the Bandits returned home hoping to get back to winning in hosting the Georgia Swarm, the same team they had beaten by a 21-14 score only a week before on the road. However, it seems that whatever Coach Cordingly said in the post-game locker room in Toronto didn't take as Saturday night seemed to be a repeat of Friday night with a few less penalties. Like Friday night, the Bandits started off strong only to see their opponents make it close before taking a lead late in the game they wouldn't give up. The Bandits now sit in 2nd place in the East, tied with Georgia and Rochester with a pair of games out west coming up before returning home to Banditland.
Our most recent Bandettes of The Week, Sarah, Jessica, and Angela
Amanda, Rachel, and Karley
The Bandettes, meanwhile, got to debut their new posters at Saturday night's game so when Bandits fans came up to the top of the west bank of escalators, they found all of the Bandettes stationed at a table handing out and signing their posters showing off 15 of the most stunning ladies in Buffalo. After I got up there, I stationed myself nearby to grab a few photos while the Bandettes stayed pretty busy with all the fans. When they did have a few gaps in the line, I made sure to grab a few pictures of the ladies. With such a large group of rookies this season, one had to wonder how they'd react to the fanfare and for the most part, they've handled it like veterans. A few of them have been really enjoying it so much that they've taken the initiative to get photos taken. When I was able to get a group photo of the entire squad, it was the result of a request of the last three Bandettes of The Week, Sarah, Angela, and Jessica. Eventually, it was time for the Bandettes to head downstairs to get ready for the game so when they went their way, I went mine, off to my seats where my buddy had been showing his brother, on leave from the Air Force, some of the sights around the arena.
Syidah, Jessica, and MaKenzie in pregame
Cheering on a goal in the 1st quarter in their Air Canada jerseys
performing during 1st intermission
The Bandettes came out for pregame in their purple shirts but once the 1st quarter started, Mandy's line was wearing Air Canada jerseys. Air Canada is a sponsor of the NLL in 2016. It was a sharp look for them although these beauties would look good in virtually any outfit.
MaKenzie, Deanna, Karley, and Sarah
Deanna giving the camera a smile before heading out at halftime
rookie beauties Jackie, Rachel, and Ti in the 3rd quarter
Mandy is more than just beautiful, she's done an impressive job as captain this season

As the game started falling apart midway through the 4th, fans started leaving and that was the Bandettes' cue to take their leave. No, they weren't leaving the arena or anything, but fans leaving the game got coupons from the Bandettes for discounts on airfare through Air Canada so when I finally headed out myself, I found the Bandettes downstairs in the main lobby handing out coupons and posing for photos.
See all the pics at
Next up for the Bandettes, they'll have a few weeks away from performing with the Bandits on the road but they'll be ready, willing, and able to cheer them on Friday, March 11, when the Bandits return to face the Knighthawks after 1st retiring the #11 jersey of the legendary John Tavares.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Bandettes join the Toronto Rock Cheerleaders in Toronto

After finally getting a convincing win in Georgia last week, the hopes for the Bandits was that they had finally solved their road woes. Friday night, they started off in Toronto for the 1st of 2 games on the weekend and were off to a good start as it seemed the 0-6 Rock couldn't do much right on the field. However, as with all rivalries, win-loss records go out the window and despite the Bandits' strong start, the Rock managed to keep it close all game long until they pulled ahead for good late in the game in this penalty-filled game in Toronto and pulled out a 14-12 win over the visiting Bandits, earning their 1st win of the season in the 1st game of a 5-game home stand.
The rivalry between Buffalo and Toronto is a storied one with hard-fought games filled with undisciplined play but Friday night, the Bandettes and Toronto Rock Cheerleaders came together for a more friendly "rivalry" as they greeted fans together and performed together at halftime. Billed as a "Cheer Battle" performance, the squads worked well together and the hope is that the Toronto Rock Cheerleaders can join the Bandettes in Buffalo for the April 16 game between the two teams. To put together the performance, the Rock Cheerleaders choreographed the dance and then sent video of it to Mandy, who taught it to the Bandettes squad before they went up Friday afternoon to practice it with the Toronto gals for the 1st time just hours before the game.
Stephanie's line before the game
Mandy's line with members of the Toronto Rock Cheerleaders
I made it up to Toronto that afternoon as well to meet up with a buddy and check out the Auto Show at the Convention Centre before the game. This Auto Show is big enough that they even had a special appearance...the Batmobile from the upcoming Batman vs Superman movie. After the show and dinner, it was off to the ACC and when they opened an hour before faceoff, we were greeted by not only the Toronto Rock Cheerleaders but Stephanie's line of the Buffalo Bandettes. We took a few photos and showed off a few as well(a few of the Bandettes were excited to see the Batmobile photos) and exchanged a few stories about our respective trips up to the 4th largest city in North America, After getting some important info about the evening's performances from Stephanie, it was off to track down Mandy's line, who were with more of the Rock Cheerleaders greeting fans coming into the game. We grabbed a few photos of Mandy and her line and even got one of all the ladies there together. I even got some big info from Mandy concerning tonight's game. Bandettes posters will be available to pick up and get autographed before the game!
A pair of the Toronto Rock Cheerleaders on the jumbotron handling in-game promotions
One thing I'll say that's critical of how the Toronto Rock handled their cheerleaders is how little they got to perform. Before and during the game, they did work with promotions for the game similar to how there was always a pair of Ambassador Jills handling in-game promotions during Bills games through 2013. However, they only got to perform during a time-out in the 2nd quarter and at halftime with the Bandettes. I just personally think that's a shame because it was apparent they're definitely talented enough to dance more than they got to and I hope that, in the future, they'll be given more opportunities to get to perform.
The Bandettes on the field at halftime
The Buffalo Bandettes and the Toronto Rock Cheerleaders performing together! 

See all the pics at
Up next for the Bandettes and Bandits, they're back in action tonight as the Bandits hope to bounce back from last night's loss by hosting the Georgia Swarm a week after beating them down south. The Bandettes will be stationed at autograph tables before the game signing their brand new posters so make sure to show up early to get yours! The girls have to leave the autograph tables to go get ready for the game by 7pm so plan accordingly.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Bandette of The Week Jessica

The UB Dazzlers have sent a few girls to the Jills and Bandettes occasionally in the past and this year, the Bandettes received 2 of them. Last week, we introduced you to Angela and now we introduce you to Jessica, our latest Bandette of The Week. Not surprisingly, Jessica and Angela had talked about joining the Bandettes during their time together as Dazzlers. In the lull between her last performance as a Dazzler and Bandettes tryouts, Jessica was already missing the thrill of performing at games as well as the teamwork involved in putting together a memorable dance performance while representing the organization, whether it be her college or the Bandits. One thing she's especially loved is getting to expand her circle of friends and knowing how close-knit the Bandettes generally are, I have a hunch she may end up spending several years as a Bandette performing and making new friends every year. As a photographer, who wouldn't love having her stick around several years given the fact that she's always grabbing a squadmate for a photo op not to mention the fact she seems to never be seen without a smile. Away from the squad, she's a market development specialist and is looking forward to growing in her career but wants to travel a lot as well, but especially to European countries like Germany and Italy. Considering her love of sushi, Japan is probably high on her list as well. Jessica's secondary photo is from just before halftime of the Blackwolves game in early February. Before escorting the Junior Bandettes out for their performance, Jessica and Sarah posed for a quick photo together.
Jessica and Sarah

From the Jills comes a photo from their Calendar Shoot Fundraiser held in September of 2008. For the price of a ticket, fans could hang out at SoHo all evening long with the Jills and get their fill of pizza, wings, and beer. Shown posing for a photo are a pair of then-2nd year vets, Angelina and Vincenza.
Angelina and Vincenza

Friday, February 12, 2016

Bandette of The Week Angela

This week, Angela grabs the spotlight as our Buffalo Bandette of The Week. Spending her gamedays dancing on Mandy's line, she's always had a passion for dance and getting to dance on the professional level with the NLL's premier dance team is a dream come true for her. A former UB Dazzler, Angela had a little help in preparing for what to expect at tryouts considering her Dazzlers coach is a Bandettes alum. Away from dancing, she has plans to become a school psychologist and do a bit of traveling, to Hawaii for the beaches and to Italy for the pasta. Wherever she travels, she'll probably be looking for pet-friendly resorts since she definitely loves her little Yorkie. Speaking of love, with Valentine's Day this weekend, Angela is not the typical girl. Roses are fine but her boyfriend will know to leave the chocolate behind. A pasta dinner is a faster way to her heart than candy. A trip to Universal Studios would also really get her attention as she'd love to tour the Harry Potter parts of the theme park, based on some of her favorite movies. Angela's secondary photo is from last month's game against Toronto. Before the game, some of the Bandettes posed for some photos before heading out for pregame. Shown posing for the camera are Angela and Jessica.
Angela and Jesssica

From the Jills comes a photo from the 2010 Buffalo Auto Show. Kaitlin and Amanda were on-hand to help judge a tailgate food competition and posed with a little girl with hopes to follow in their footsteps on the sidelines at the Ralph.
Kaitlin and Amanda with a future Jill

Monday, February 8, 2016

“Bring back the Jills:” Cheerleaders deserve their stage

Recently, we reported that Buffalo Jills alums were coming to Rochester to meet fans and lead the cheers to “Bring Back the Jills.” And last weekend Jean Zydel and Nancy Benzinger were at the Otter Lodge, kindly making the drive from Buffalo.
The crowd was fair. Unfortunately, with the Jills off the field now for two seasons, the squad has moved somewhat off the public radar.  At the same time, everyone there who went to games this year at the Ralph felt the Jills’ absence.

Jean Zydel (left) and Kathy Benzinger (right). Jack and myself in center 1/23/16 Otter Lodge

Read the rest of David's article at

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Bandettes and Junior Bandettes at the Bandits-Blackwolves game

Last week, the Bandits went on the road to New England and continued to struggle on the road in falling to them by a score of 15-11 but in truth, the game wasn't even as close as the score showed. The Bandits returned home Saturday night a little short-handed with a pair of players placed on short-term IR before the game and one had to wonder how they'd perform against the same New England team, now the visitors. Somehow, the Bandits have been a completely different team on the road and they were able to bounce back, even down Benesch and Weiss. They started off strong behind their special teams units and took an 8-3 lead into halftime. However, New England adjusted and the Bandits seemed to ease up in the 2nd half as the visitors piled in 5 straight goals in the late 3rd and 4th quarters bringing the score to within 1. The Bandits found a way to hold on though and dropped in an empty-netter just before time expired to send New England home with a 12-10 loss.
Saturday was, for the Bandettes, the longest day of their season, but when you consider what it all entailed, it was also their most rewarding. The Junior Bandette program is something that every Bandette of any age looks forward to and while the Bandits were in New England last week, the Bandettes were hard at work starting to prep the juniors for last night's game. After the work last week and all through the week, it was gameday prep most of the afternoon and while it was a lot of work for the Bandettes, it was work they were excited to do and to get to see the finished product of.
One of the fun things with Jr Bandette day is seeing the alums who are there either to help out or just to watch their own daughters get to perform with their old squad. As it turned out for me, the 1st alum I saw wasn't even a Bandettes alum as I ran into as I saw 2007-10 Jills alum Angelina before I even got to the arena. We got to catch up a little bit and she's even busier these days than she was when she was on the squad, including work with her own spray-tanning business. She's also refusing to age as she's every bit as stunning as she ever was if not more so. Once I got to the arena, I actually saw something I hadn't expected to see as the Bandettes are typically not able to greet fans coming into the game on Junior Bandettes day but lo and behold, there were Jessica and Angela out front showing off their sensational smiles downstairs while Mandy's line was upstairs greeting fans and posing for pictures. After heading in, I kept an eye out to see if I saw anyone in the stands I recognized and as it turned out, it wasn't long before former Jills Pro Bowler and Bandettes coach Julie F made an appearance, there to cheer on her little girl with the Jr Bandettes.
Squad photo with Kirsten
Helping out with the junior Bandettes this year were Kirsten, Lauren K, and Brittany. Alums come back every season just to help out with this event not only because of how much work it is to coordinate 70-90 young ladies, but because of how enjoyable they found the experience when they were still on the squad themselves. Brittany, who only just retired for the squad, will likely have an extra vested interest soon as her own daughter is not far from joining the program herself.
If Kirsten is around, of course Stephanie wants a picture with her former captain
The Junior Bandettes weren't the only kids who got to perform at the Bandits game either. Last August, at the Bills Kids Day game, 11-year old Baylee Morrison performed the National Anthem and she did an outstanding job. She's been singing at sporting events a lot the last few years and last night, got to perform both the Canadian and US National Anthems before the Bandits game. Judging by the reactions of the crowd to her outstanding rendition, she has a bright future ahead of her.
the squad posing with the night's anthem singer
After performing their pregame routine, the Bandettes retreated to regroup with the Junior Bandettes while the Bandits honored their 4 Championship teams, complete with several players from each team. After a short ceremony that included new banners hung from the rafters, the player alums were joined by the Bandettes and the Junior Bandettes in welcoming the 2016 team onto the field.
Bandettes and Junior Bandettes about to head out to welcome the team to the field
As a quarter winds down in the game, the line that's performing in the zamboni area typically heads back to the locker room to regroup with the rest of the squad to prep for their upcoming performance. When they came back out as the 1st quarter got close to the end, one of the ladies came over to make sure I knew she was there...Lauren K. She wasn't there just to help with the Junior Bandettes. Dance is her life and I wasn't the least bit surprised to see her out there on the field with the 2016 squad performing at 1st intermission. It was more surprising to see her retire at all but sometimes life gets in the way of some of what you love. It was wonderful to get to see her back out there, even for just one performance.
1st intermission had a special guest performer...Lauren K!
Jennifer loving the game so far
Janelle and Mandy
rookie pals Jessica and Sarah
Halftime was action-packed last night as the Bandettes and Junior Bandettes got to show off all their hard work to start the break. When people of any age put in a lot of work on something, it's always rewarding to see that work amount to something. When one considers all the work that went into putting together such a big performance with so many young women, seeing it all together on the field is nothing less than inspiring. As wonderful as it was to get to see the Bandits alumni scrimmage after the Bandettes and Jr Bandettes performance, it's also kinda of sad that it wasn't coordinated by the Bandits better as the players were out on the field warming up while those young ladies were still performing.
Bandettes and Junior Bandettes coming out for halftiime
forming some pyramids at halftime
Karley is clearly excited about the goal just scored
MaKenzie looking absolutely stunning as she cheers on a goal
Amanda, Jackie, Rachel, and Ti performing in the 4th
See all the pics at

Coming up next, the Bandits hit the road for games in Georgia and Toronto before returning home on the 20th to face off against the Georgia Swarm so the Bandettes get a little bit of rest before the NLL's premier dance team is back in action.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Bandette of The Week Sarah

This week, we begin taking a look at the rookies in our Bandette of The Week series and launching it off will be Sarah, who dances on Stephanie's line on gamedays. She chose to try out after being enthralled by the Bandettes' dancing over the years and jumped at the opportunity to join in the excitement. In truth, perhaps a college job may have helped her fit in as a Bandette more than anything as she spent some time working at Disney World. As most longtime readers are well aware, there is definitely a big Disney connection to the Bandettes as long-time coach Erin Y is perhaps Western New York's biggest Disney fan and former captain Meghan F is a travel agent working with Disney. In any event, Sarah is loving the friendships she's building on the squad and how it's affecting her life as a whole. This past week has been perhaps her favorite part so far as being a positive influence on children is a big deal to her and she probably got to do that more this past week, working with the Junior Bandettes, than at any other time thus far. As much as she's loving all the time spent as a Bandette, I have a strong hunch she's glad there are no home games in the final weekend in February so she can spend some time glued to Netflix for the release of Fuller House, the upcoming sequel to her all-time favorite show. Sarah's secondary photo is from the recent game against the Toronto Rock. Shown cheering on a Dhane Smith goal late in the 2nd quarter are MaKenzie, Sarah, and Jessica.
MaKenzie, Sarah, and Jessica

From the Jills comes a photo from the Tailgate Warriors set in Lot C before the 2009 preseason game against Chicago. Several of the Jills made appearances throughout the day and we got some photos with some of the local celebrities on hand for the show. Shown posing for this photo are Ayeshia, Keisha, Kelly Ann, and Kristen with famed Wing King Drew Cerza.
Ayeshia, Keisha, Wing King Drew Cerza, Kelly Ann, and Kristen