Memorial Hall-The 2017 Travel Team season got started with two unsanctioned bouts against ICT Roller Derby from Wichita, Kansas. KCRW's All-Stars took on ICTRD's All-Stars and Plan B went head to head with Havoc (not to be confused with the player who spell hers with a k). Due to venue restrictions and the nature of the game, this event was not open to the public.
There have been a couple of changes made to this seasons travel team. The first is that there is no official roster designating All-Stars from Plan B as there have been in the past. The rosters are all decided within the team according to practice time, availability and captains discretion. The second most noticeable change is the uniform. Instead of the traditional red and black jerseys, they have switched over to a light grey jersey with the new team logo on it. I have to admit they look pretty sharp.
This was ICT's first game of the season as well and the players from both teams were excited to finally get things underway. After the months of practicing, they were hungry to compete against somebody else. After a brief captains meeting with Head Referee, Effin' Ref, it was time to play some derby!
The All-Stars played the first bout. Bomb Run Brit toed the Jammer Line against JessiKa Boom who drew first blood with five unanswered points. Apparently, she got a good nights sleep and was in top form after playing a home game the previous night (see related story in the Feburary 2017 Archives). ICT came close a couple of times to tying it up but they never took the lead. By Halftime, KCRW was leading 117 to 57. After the second half, KCRW chalked up their first win-231 to 118.
The All-Stars really work as a team and often times I've singled out the offense players for their great deeds but, I'd like to take a second to talk about a pack that really impressed me during the game. Blockers Jess Decker, Pebbles and Dixie Wolf with Enigma as Pivot were forming some pretty solid walls that just stopped the opposition cold. They were communicating with each other and just acting as one unit, it was a sight to behold. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come after last years less than stellar season.
Plan B and Havoc were up next and once again ICT had Hell unleashed against them. Bear Knuckles met Bomb Run Brit on the Jammer Line this time and Miss Brit did not fare much better against the B team as Bear put eight unanswered points on the board, again setting the pace for a swift success. At Halftime, Plan B was in the lead with 111 to 90.
Havoc hung in there for another half while Plan B continued making left turns to victory. As the whistle blew, the final score was 214 to 169 in Plan B's favor.
How would you like to help the travel teams and have fun at the same time? Friday, February 24th, 7:00 p.m. at Cronin's Bar & Grill, you can be part of The Travel Team Bingo Fundraiser and help them get to the Besterns Tournament in Colorado this June! Bingo action, beer drinking and local sports figures all in one place! Mark your calendars!
March 12th is when you will want to tune into The Wheel Press on facebook as we bring you more unsanctioned action as The All-Stars take on The Rocky Mountain Rollergirls Project Mayhem and Plan B goes up against The Contenders. This will be a closed event that you can only read about here so tune in.
Memorial Hall-The half way point on the road to The Rink of Fire is upon us. For some, it is a time to stay focused and keep skating while others attempt new strategies in hopes of salvaging what time they have left.
The Dreadnought Dorothys are, so far, undefeated. With scores of 198 to 160 and 182 to 165, they don't just win, they "drop the house". Considering that last year they were three for six, the girls in Gingham are coming out pretty strong. I had a chance to ask Havok about the secret of their success and get her thoughts on the upcoming game-
WP: Your team just seems to shut down their opponents this season, what's your secret, protein shakes made with the blood of your enemies or practice drills until they pass out?
Havok: (laughs) No, we just got really lucky with the draft this year. The new girls know how to fit in and just get to work. They go out there as a team and give it their all.
WP: The last time you played The Vixens they beat you by nearly one hundred points, any thoughts on tonight's game?
Havok: It's going to be a good chance for the new girls to get some more experience. That's all we can hope for from any game is just to build on what we've learned. I think it'll be a good game.
The game started off well for The Vixens but then in the third Jam, Robbin Graves went on a 19 point scoring run and put The Dorothys in the lead 23 to 12. Mel Malice came out in the 11th with a 17 point run and brought the score up to 75 - 25. In the 20th, Shuvee Gremlin put 10 points on the board making it 102 - 50 and finally, right before Halftime, Havok scored 13 points with the score standing at 115 to 62.
In the second half, Rogue tried for a Vixens rally in Jam five and put up 18 points, bringing it up to 168 to 86. By Jam 19, Mel Malice had a 15 point run, bringing The Dorothys up to 218 - 135. Proving that The Vixens had not yet given up the fight, Redhot went on a 15 point scoring run in the final Jam, finishing the game 242 to 153 in favor of The Dorothys. That makes them 3 for 3 with The Vixens 1 for 3.
The second game of the evening featured The Black Eye Susans and The Knock-Outs. The Knock-Outs continue their tradition of being the most unpredictable team in the league. Last season was disastrous. The Injury/Illness list was just as long if not longer than the skating team roster. They had to bring in players from other teams just to fill out a roster on a couple of occasions and then with the passing of Coach Ice, the heart and soul just seemed to go out of the team. The only reason they finished fourth was because there were not five teams. But still,...the fans stayed with them. This season, they have a new captain, Madam McBomb. They picked up a lot of really good players in the draft including Junior Warriors veteran, Pebbles. They managed to retain the majority of their veterans including Co-Captain Sk8l Attraction and Jess Decker along with Jamming phenom, JessiKa Boom. They also retained their fan base. But still, victory eludes them.
This season they have become a formidable opponent, they took the first game into Overtime and lost the last game by only 17 points. They seem to be able to take each bad experience and learn from it. I was able to ask some of the players about what they felt was the problem with the last game and they all told me that the team just got so into their own head and focused on the scoreboard that they couldn't get out of their own way.
With the problem addressed, I asked McBomb and Sk8l what they were doing to improve and prepare the the team for the upcoming game. They told me that been working a lot on some new defensive moves. "We have to try everything and we can try anything since, what's the worst that can happen, we lose?"- Madam McBomb. I asked JessiKa Boom the same question, curious to get a perspective from the offense. "I've been working a lot on my speed and evasive moves, trying not to get hit." The hands can't hit what the eyes can't see, to quote another sports hero.
WP: What do you feel have been your strengths this season compared to last?
JessiKa Boom: Because of last season, we've retained a lot of players and we now work better as a team.
Jess Decker: We're a very supportive team this year and that really shows on the track.
I asked all four players what they felt the biggest obstacle was going into this game and three of them said that if the team could just stay focused and not get bogged down with outside matters then they felt they could come out of this victorious. Sk8l only had one word in response-Enigma.
Enigma and the rest of The Black Eye Susans were out to prove that the victory in the last game was just a sign of things to come. In the first Jam, JessiKa Boom and Xcelerator toed the Jammer Line and that one ended in a draw with neither scoring. It was Turtle Power in the next Jam against Sk8l Attraction that drew first blood as she put three unanswered points on the board. Boom went up against Love Tap and scored the first points for The Knock-Outs, bringing the score 10 to 6 in favor of The Susans. Sk8l would come back out against Love Tap in the next Jam and put The Knock-Outs in the lead, 13 to 10. Sk8l had another good scoring run in Jam 22 where she scored 14 points bringing the score to 59-33. By Halftime, The Knock-Outs were leading 75 to 53.
The second half was where The Susans started to rally. In Jam 4 Polly Rocket had a scoring run that tied it up 75 All. However, Pebbles came out the next Jam and put The Knock-Outs back on top 88 to 78. She even managed to get around the one woman wall that is Enigma and get the crowd cheering. That did not last long because Xcelerator came out in the seventh and turned the tide with a 20 point jam, making the score 101 to 88. The Knock-Outs trailed the rest of the game with little hope in sight until the very last Jam when Boom and Love Tap went head to head. With less than 30 seconds of period time, they were playing on the Jam clock before their first scoring run. If Love Tap got lead, she could call of the jam and end the game. If Boom got lead, she could keep the game alive and hopefully score the 20 points it would take to win. Boom got Lead Jammer and had no choice but to skate like her wheels were on fire. She had to hope that the defense could keep Love Tap from scoring while she slogged her way through The Susans defense. The crowd was going nuts in anticipation as Boom fought The Susans defense and the Jam Clock. For every three points she would score, Love Tap would score one, keeping the score maddeningly just out of reach. You could see the look of total exhaustion as well as determination on the face of JessiKa Boom as she broke out of the pack the final time. She was half way around the track to make another pass as the clock ran out and the whistle blew. The Black Eye Susans won 174 to 159. The Susans are now 2 for 3 which puts them in second place and The Knock-Outs are 0 for 3.
Join us next time, on March 11th, as The Dreadnought Dorothys take on The Black Eye Susans and The Victory Vixens go against The Knock-Outs. If The Dorothys win their game, the first two positions don't change. If The Knock-Outs win their game, they will be tied with The Vixens and start to be a contender. If The Vixens win the next game and The Susans don't, that will tie them up for second again, giving The Vixens a chance for a third victory in The Rink of Fire. The next couple of games age going to be deal breakers, folks, you don't want to miss them. You can get your tickets through this website or your favorite derby girl.
Don't forget to come out to Cronin's Bar & Grill, 12227 W. 87th Pkwy. in Lenexa, Kansas on Friday, Feb. 24th at 7:00 p.m. for The Travel Team Bingo Fundraiser. The Travel Team is going to The Besterns Tournament in Colorado in June and they need your help to get there. This is a volunteer effort, folks, nobody gets paid for this, so every little bit helps. You can play some bingo, drink some beer and hob knob with local celebrities and it's all for a good cause.
Also, don't forget that you can follow KCRW, your favorite home team and The Wheel Press on facebook.
Memorial Hall-The Knock-Outs were looking for a victory. They were lean and hungry and had not had one since '15. They went into Overtime with the last game where luck just was not with them. But this night, this was a new chance for success. This was going to be their night.
The first period got off to a rocky start with the first three Jammers spending more time in the box than on the track, but then, by Jam seven, it started to turn around. JessiKa Boom went on a 23 point scoring run and put the girls in teal in the lead for the first time. She would go on to have three more successful jams, each time pulling her team from behind. By Halftime, The Knock-Outs were ahead 94 to 82.
As the second period started, Madam McBomb and her Knock-Outs were holding their own, staying just ahead of The Dorothys on the board. But then, with a late game rally, a dark shadow in the form of Shuvee Gremlin dimmed the light at the end of their tunnel. The Dorothys defense suddenly came together and formed walls that seemed unbreakable while their offense kept racking up points. Despite The Knock-Outs best efforts, the girls in Gingham kept their momentum going ever forward until that last whistle blew and The Dreadnought Dorothys were on top with 182 to 165.
The second game in the double header saw the rematch of The Victory Vixens and The Black Eye Susans. The first game of last season, these two teams played each other and The Susans skated circles around them. That loss was avenged in The Rink Of Fire where The Vixens went on to win The Tim Warder Cup for the second consecutive time. This time however, the skate was on the other foot.
Xcelerator set the pace for The Susans victory pretty much from the first whistle. The Vixens tried to turn things around early in the game but just got left in the dust. By Halftime, The Susans were leading 145 to 40.
The Vixens did try to make a comeback in the second period, but it was too late. The final score was 238 to 160.
So far, The Dorothys have won two games, The Vixens and The Susans have one apiece and The Knock-Outs are still looking. There are four more games before The Rink Of Fire so the race is still on. The next game is February 18th so contact your favorite derby girl for tickets or check this website for online purchase details. The V.I.P. seats go fast, so get yours now.
Guys, have you ever wanted to play derby? Here's your chance! Tryouts are just around the corner! Act now! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info regarding dates and times.
Don't forget, you can stay connected to KCRW and The Wheel Press on fb.
Memorial Hall-The air was alive with excitement and energy. It was summer the last time anybody had seen their favorite team in action and crowd and player alike were ready to get things under way. The first game of the new season saw The Victory Vixens going up against The Knock-Outs.
Last season, The Vixens only lost one game and went on to win The Rink Of Fire for the second year in a row while The Knock-Outs had one of their worst seasons. With over thirty rookie players this season, I think we're going to see four different teams this year.
Foxxi Brown sang The National Anthem and D'Nouncer Duane took care of the announcements and introductions. The crowd counted down and Kerowhack blew the whistle starting the twelfth season.
JessiKa Boom drew first blood for the girls in teal with three unanswered points. She set the pace of the game as The Knock-Outs went on to dominate the first period. In the last jam before Halftime, Track Rat had a 24 point scoring run that brought The Vixens within ten points as the score was 96 to 86 in favor of The Knock-Outs.
The second period saw a few lead changes but both teams were out to win and neither one was backing down. As the Jam Clock ran out and the final whistle blew, the points were tallied up and it was a tie game! It's been a long time since anybody has seen a game go in to overtime.
Head referee Effin' Ref quickly pulled the officiating staff into a huddle and reviewed the rules for an overtime jam. After getting everything straight with the refs, he went over it with the pack and the game was ready to continue to its conclusion. The biggest thing about an overtime jam is that there is no lead jammer called, it goes for a full two minutes.
The players lined up and the whistle was blown. The Knock-Outs jammer made it out of the pack with The Vixens jammer in hot pursuit. With each pass, both teams defense made it a slow and arduous trek through the pack. When the clock ran out though, it was The Vixens who had scored more points and kept their grip on the trophy with a final score of 220 to 206.
I later asked Madame McBomb, team captain of The Knock-Outs, about the changes in the team as this is definitely not the same team we saw last season. Were there methods of inspiration, new training techniques or perhaps a change of diet? She simply said that while the outcome was not as well as she had hoped, she was very proud of her teams performance and she didn't have to feed them anything since they always had it in them. What will the future hold for The Knock-Outs? You'll have to show up to the next game for that answer.
The second game of the night saw the classic match up of The Black Eye Susans and The Dreadnought Dorothys. Both teams are pretty evenly matched on paper. They both have about the same amount of new players and have strong veteran leadership in the form of Love Tap for The Susans and Havok for The Dorothys. Unfortunately for The Susans, The Dorothys also have a strong defense.
The first period started off with a few lead changes but then The Dorothys took control of the scoreboard and held on through Halftime when the score was 76 to 48.
The girls in gingham managed to hang on to their lead through the second period as well with the final score of 198 to 160.
Join us again on January 28th as The Dreadnought Dorothys will take on The Knock-Outs and The Victory Vixens will go up against The Black Eye Susans. Tickets are on sale now through the website or you can track down your favorite derby girl. Don't forget to stay connected with KCRW and The Wheel Press on facebook.
Memorial Hall- Saturday, December 10th saw The Winter Wonder Slam mini tournament. It was non sanctioned and played just for the fun of it. The tournament was co-ed and attracted players from area leagues and as far away as New York. It gave a chance for skaters who don't normally get to play together to get one last derby fix before the holiday rush and the new season begins.
The first game was between The Tinseled Tormentors and Reindeer Meat. After thirty minutes of game play, Reindeer Meat would move on to the next bracket as they spanked the Tormentors 196 to 12.
Next up were The Nasty Grinches against The Naughty List. You may be a mean one Mr. Grinch, but you're no match for The Naughty List who went on to the second round with a score of 202 to 46.
The third game of the day was between Sparkle Motion and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Sparkle Motion became the worst nightmare as they shined on to a victorious 194 to 27.
First round eliminations ended with The Deadly Sirens taking on RBF. There was not a lot of resting on the part of RBF as the won their second round spot 157 to 32.
Second round eliminations started with Reindeer Meat going up against The Naughty List. Reindeer Meat became minced meat as The Naughty List unwrapped their second victory, 96 to 33.
Sparkle Motion was denied their chance to shine in the last few jams as RBF claimed the chance to play The Naughty List for the tournament title, 107 to 95.
The final bracket saw The Naughty List take on RBF for all the marbles. The Naughty List proved to be the force to be recconed with as they sent RBF packing their toys aand going home with a score of 185 to 54.
Throughout the tournament, the players would nominate an MVP blocker and jammer from each team. These players formed a team after the tournament for an exhibition bout against the 2017 All-Stars.
Your new All-Stars are- Chum Fiesta
Erin No Bragh
Pebbles The Punisher
Yoko OhNo Youdidnt
Not surprising, The All-Stars made quick work of The MVPs with a score of 148 to 53. This game was just for fun but let's hope that this is a preview of the coming season. Happy holidays to you all and don't forget to mark your calendars because the starting whistle blows on the new home season on January 7th. See you then!
Memorial Hall-For the first time in a long time, KCRW had a Rookie Bout. The last couple of years have been lean for new skaters and there just have not been enough players to fill out two teams. This year, however, we have 35 new skaters. Some have moved up from The Junior Warriors, some have come from other teams and a couple have just come back. The players were divided up into Team Black and Team White. The competition was fierce and the score was close. In the end, though, it was Team Black that claimed victory with a score of 215 to 209. Later, at the announcement ceremony, there was excitement in the air as the envelopes were passed out and the announcements were made regarding what home team each new player would be on. Each team had staked out a section of the room and as the decisions were announced there would be cheering and screaming as each new member was welcomed into the fold.
Black Eye Susans- Xcelerator
Shell B. Sorry
Dreadnought Dorothys- Lil Bit
Vee Odka Chase Her
The Knockouts- Pebbles The Punisher
Little Miss Rampage
Victory Vixens- Chum Fiesta
Dreadlocked & Loaded
Red Hot Southern Helle
Through the course of the evening I would try to talk to the new players when they weren’t busy bonding with their new teams. One of the best stories of the night came from Pebbles The Punisher. She has spent the last two seasons in The Junior Warriors but now she has graduated into the big league. I asked what got her into derby to begin with and she told me about how her grandmother had taken her to her first game and later she would attend with her mom. Later, when she found out about The Junior Warriors, she couldn’t sign up fast enough. She was ready to get out of the stands and on to the track. Pebbles went on to tell me about how she has been a long- time fan of The Knockouts and is very excited about finally being one. Who says derby can’t make your dreams come true? The Knockouts were plagued last season with injuries and illnesses and finished in last place. This season they have some new blood and Madame McBomb is in the captain’s chair so I think we’ll see KCRW’s most unpredictable team get back to work. You can see all of the new players as well as your favorites in January when the new season gets underway at Memorial Hall.
Memorial Hall-It's the Friday before Halloween and KCRW is ringing in the holiday with an open scrimmage. Much like the Harry Potter themed bout last month, the audience was encouraged to participate in the outcome of this game as well. There were various cards that people could purchase that had different ways for the game to be played. The first game was all female and made up of Zombies and Survivors. There were players sent to the box, backwards skating and playing with your arms at your sides but The Survivors seemed to live up to their name and make it through 159 to 152. Game two almost had a George Romero ending on top of set backs in the first half. One of the players who usually skates for Fountain City was injured 12 minutes into the first half. After being taken away in the ambulance, it was decided to just take a few minutes to let the skaters warm back up and start the game at the beginning of the second period. The Zombies were leading until somebody used their card to swap the scores. The Survivors ended up winning 161 to 135. Join us on November 12th as The Roller Warriors introduce their newest players in The Rookie Bout. It's been a couple of seasons since there has been one of these so don't miss out. See your new favorite players start from the beginning and say you were there when... See you next month!
Memorial Hall-The Junior Warriors brought the season to a close on Saturday, September 17th as The Blackouts faced The Holy Rollers. The Holy Rollers, a.k.a. The Red Team, have won the last two games in this three game season. Will this be the resurrection of The Starry Frights, just with a different color scheme or will The Blackouts make a final stand? The Blackouts came out strong and took control of the board early, but by the middle of the period The Holy Rollers were starting to rally and there were a few lead changes. However, by the end of the period, The Blackouts were leading 129 to 102. Things were still looking good for The Blackouts through the first part of the second period but The Holy Rollers had managed to inch their way up to a tie game and eventually took the lead. They never got far enough ahead that The Blackouts couldn't catch up, but The Blackouts were starting to rack up penalties and The Holy Rollers defense was really starting to feel their Wheaties. By the last jam, The Blackouts had managed to get back in the lead by four points. Apocalypstick was lead jammer and all they had to do was hold The Holy Rollers jammer until the remaining seconds ticked off the period clock and then call the jam. Things were going well until Apocalypstick was sent to the penalty box. Now The Holy Rollers have a power jam and there's less than a minute left on the jam clock. Apocalypstick gets out of the box, The Holy Rollers have tied the game and the seconds are ticking off the clock. If the defense can hold the Red jammer just long enough for Apocalypstick to make a pass through the pack, The Blackouts can win the game. Of course, the same can be said for The Holy Rollers. If either skater can pass just one more blocker before the whistle blows, the game is won. As the Jam Timer blew the final whistle, Apocalypstick cleared the pack giving her four points and making the final score Blackouts 218 Holy Rollers 214. Will Apocalypstick move up to the home teams? Will The Knockouts rise up out of the basement? Will The Victory Vixens win The Rink of Fire three years in a row? What kind of season will Plan B have? Will The All-Stars break out of Division 2? The answer to these questions and more will be answered in January when the new season starts. Check this website for your season tickets because you wont want to miss any of it. See you next year!
Memorial Hall-Friday, September 9th marked the close of the adult derby season with a Harry Potter themed co-ed scrimmage called Hit It And Quidditch. Players were encouraged to create costumes (or at least themed uniforms) and the crowd got in on the action by purchasing a wand. With the wand, the audience could cast a "spell" that would effect the game. They could have a player start in the penalty box, add a blocker to each team, have the jam skated clockwise, add 10 points to their favorite teams score or, for a select few, even swap the score. There were four games instead of the usual two. Each game lasting one thirty minute period. The first game was all female Hufflepuff vs Slytherin. Hufflepuff came out on top of that one 110 to 65. The next game was still all female and had Ravenclaw go up against Gryffindor. Gryffindor had a little help from the audience and won 117 to 111. Hufflepuff vs Ravenclaw was the first co-ed game of the evening.Despite the audiences best efforts on the part of Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw ended up winning 99 to 94. The final game of the night saw co-ed Gryffindor take on Slytherin. Gryffindor, true to form, won the game 119 to 102. Something I think should be mentioned here is the incredible performance of JessiKa Boom. She played in all four games and would usually have a double digit scoring run each time she jammed. On more than one occasion, her team would be lagging behind in points, she'd come out and close that gap and even put them in the lead. Just as her team would get a comfortable point deficit and victory seemed within easy reach, somebody in the audience would cast the flip-the-score-spell and they'd be behind again...until she took the jammer line. These are the moments you miss when you stay at home. Check this website for your chance to get season tickets for the upcoming season that starts in January. Don't delay, it'll be here before you know it. In the meantime, your last chance at Kansas City derby action will happen at Memorial Hall on Saturday, September 17th when The Junior Warriors play their last game of the season. You don't want to miss it!
Memorial Hall-The Junior Warriors had their mid-season game on Saturday. The names may change but the colors remain the same. The Red Mild Chili Peppers took on The Skaters Of Anarchy to see who would come out on top. It was an early lead for The Chili Peppers but The Skaters took back and held the lead through most of the first half. With some defensive strategy and a couple of well timed power jams though, The Chili Peppers were leading going into Halftime 140 to 127. The Skaters got close to retaking the lead a couple of times in the second but never managed that task and racked up their second loss, 268 to 204. At the MVP ceremony after the game, Forrest Bump and Speed Reecer were named MVP Blocker and Jammer respectively, for The Chili Peppers and Iron Rose and Officer Ecton received the awards for The Skaters Of Anarchy. Will Team Red make it a grand slam season or will Team Black rise up and break their streak? Find out Saturday, September 17th. Mark your calendars on September 9th for the Harry Potter edition of the Co-Ed Scrimmage. You won't want to miss either of these games since this will be your last dose of derby action until January! See you there! Don't forget to stay connected with KCRW and The Wheel Press on fb.
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