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Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers Dance Team 

Posted by James at 6:13 PM ET

On Saturday the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers put a hurting the Bossier City-Shreveport Battle Wings in their final home game of the regular season. The Pioneers jumped out to an early 27-7 lead and the Battle Wings led by former Dallas Cowboys QB Quincy Carter never got back into the game.

The Pioneers organization was generous enough to allow me access to photograph the Pioneer Dance Team.

WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Here's the squad (l-r): Lisa, Alaina, Nicole, Tarisa, Joanie, Danielle, Yasmine, Talia, Cara, Lauren


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Miss Pennsylvania International 2007 Yasmine. We'll have more on Yamsine later this week as she travels to Chicago for the Miss International Pageant.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Pre-game rehearsal


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Pre-game rehearsal


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Out of the tunnel.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
On the field before the player introductions.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Co-Captain Joanie is a Bloomburg Graduate and works as a brand representative for Miller Brewing.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Co-captain Nicole, who would rather go by "Neeco" would like to be a Spanish teacher one day.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Yasmine, Lauren and Danielle



WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Danielle watches as Neeco films the fans.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Co-captains, Neeceo, Joanie and Director and Choreographer Danielle Legge.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Performing in the end zone. I wanted to get more actions shots, but the opportunities were few and far between and the shots I did get weren't that great.

There is no out of bounds area for the dancers to stand/perform. When they move out of the tunnel and into the end zone, they are in the field of play. They can't come out until the ball is at midfield or beyond and traveling away from that end zone.

From the time the dancers came back in the third quarter after the uniform change until the end of the game, only once did they move into the end zone, and that lasted less than 30 seconds as the Battle Wings turned it over and downs and the ball was once again moving towards the end zone.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Alaina, Yasmine and Joanie


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Joanie and Mascot Pete with Riley, one of the Pioneers Junior Dancers


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Lining up for halftime.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Neeco performing with the Pioneers Junior Dancers.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Lauren


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
The new Ms. Pioneer is announced to the crowd.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Neeco on the back of the monster truck.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Lauren, Cara and Talia on the back of Pete's ATV.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Footballs were thrown and t-shirts were shot from the Roto-rooter monster truck.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
On the left is Amy, the outgoing Ms. Pioneer. On the right is Rochelle, the new Ms. Pioneer


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Second-half uniforms. I really like these a lot. The dancers all have their names and individual numbers on their uniforms, ala The Philadelphia Soulmates.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
I tried for a shot to include the uniform names, while the ladies looked back over the shoulders at the camera. It was a good idea, but I didn't execute it that well.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
After every touchdown the Pioneers scored, the dancers ran onto the field and throw souvenir footballs to the fans.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
By my count the Pioneers scored seven touchdowns; that's a lot of footballs.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Yasmine and Lisa


Joanie told me that 3 years ago in her very first game, she was trapped on the field when the defense intercepted a pass and returned the ball for a touchdown. She huddled in a corner of the end zone hoping not to get hit. She didn't.


The dancers aren't the only ones at risk. One fan leaning up against the barrier in the end zone got a helmet to the head from one of the Battle Wings receivers trying to catch a pass. First on the scene to help him was dancer Danielle. She's a registered nurse and checked him out until the EMTs arrived.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Group shot with Talia's sister


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Talia and family.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Cara and Yasmine


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
After the game the af2 fan friendly tradition of dancers and players meeting the fans continued.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Alaina signs a football.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Lisa in a photo with a fan.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Neeco autographs the new Girls of the Pioneers Calendar featuring all the dancers and promo girls.


WSB Pioneers Dance Team
Joanie and her brother and his wife.


And while that was the last regular season home game of the season, the Pioneers aren't done yet. They've accumulated a 14-1 record and so will host a playoff game on August 4th. So if you live in NEPA, you should consider coming out, it's really a lot of fun.

Thanks to Pioneers Director of Media & Community Relations Tom DeFeo, Dance Team Director and Choreographer Danielle Legge and, of course, the wonderful women of the Pioneers Dance Team.


And visit WSBPioneers.com to learn more about the Pioneers Dance Team.

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