I spent this past weekend at Bernie’s. That would be Bernie Lilavois, owner and head coach of the Ontario Fury. I was there to cover the 2014 Ladies of Ontario Fury for the opening weekend of the Major Arena Soccer League season and if you like fast scoring action, then the MASL is for you. The MASL is like arena football for soccer. And the best thing about the Ontario Fury, at least for me, is that that have cheerleaders…some of the hottest in the MASL.
Under the direction of Lynae de Leon, a former Clippers Spirit dancer, the Ladies of Ontario Fury have become team ambassadors and the featured entertainment at Fury games. Lynae graciously allowed me to follow the dance team as they performed throughout the day and here’s a sampling of what their game day is like.
An hour before game time, the Ladies of Ontario Fury were in the concourse, ready to meet and greet the fans as they entered Citizens Business Bank Arena.
The Ontario Fury have close ties to the local soccer community and for player introductions, youth soccer groups were allowed onto the field along with the dancers to help welcome the team.
The traditional line up for the playing of the national anthem.
The girls weren’t scheduled for their next field performance until halftime, so it was back to the locker room to change out of their high heeled boots and then up to the concourse stage for the first two quarters.
With 4:30 left of the clock, the girls made their way from the stage, through a labyrinthine series of corridors to the field level on the opposite side of the arena. As the buzzer sounded, the girls ran onto the field for their half time performance.
The girls remained on the field for a promotion and I snapped a few photos of them cheering on the crowd as they tried to throw miniature soccer balls into small hoops in the center of the field.
Halftime was over and the girls retired to the locker room to change uniforms. The second line made their way up to the concourse stage where they celebrated each Fury goal with a nice little dance.
With a few minutes left on the clock in the third quarter, the girls once again made their way to the field level on the opposite side of the arena. At the break, the girls performed another spirited dance routine on the field.
Then it was back to the concourse stage for the final quarter and more goal scoring dancing.
At the conclusion of the game, which the Fury won 12 – 7 over the visiting Sacramento Surge, the Ladies of Ontario Fury made their way down to the field to meet and greet some of the fans, mostly boys and girls and friends and family. I was waylaid by an acquaintance and missed that part of the evening’s festivities, but you get the idea.
All in all, I had a great time tagging along with the Ladies of Ontario Fury during their game day. The cool thing about them is that they are real friendly and accessible. Try getting up close and personal with the Laker Girls and I am sure you will be escorted from the arena.
So if you have a free weekend and the Fury are in town, why don’t you spend the weekend at Bernie’s. And say hello to the Ladies of Ontario Fury, the hottest dance team in the MASL.
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I would like to express my gratitude to Bernie Lilivois, Bill Norris, and Lynae de Leon for allowing me to tag along with the Ladies of Ontario Fury. I had a great time and hope to see them again soon.