Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

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.

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