August 28-30, 2015 - Detroit, Michigan-
The Detroit Derby Girls played hostess to the second leg of The Division 2 Playoffs the weekend of August 28th. Ten teams entered the competition but only two get to move on. After battling their way through the weekend, The Music City All Stars from Nashville, Tennessee and The Sacrificers of Sacramento, California were the last two standing.
They faced off on Sunday bringing the tournament to an exciting end. To take a look at the road that led them there, let's go back to Friday when Nashville played Sac City Rollers' Capital Punishers, also out of Sacramento, California. Music City was the only one doing the punishing in that game when the final score was 221 to 151. On Saturday they moved on to play Naptown Roller Girls' Tornado Sirens from Indianapolis, Indiana. Try as they might, The Tornado Sirens got blown away 233 to 209.
The Sacrificers started the tournament against Bear City Roller Derby's Berlin Bombers from Berlin, Germany. The Bombers came close but not close enough as The Sacrificers took it 203 to 192. That moved them on to Saturday to play The Chicago Outfit's The Syndicate. The Syndicate got rubbed out 209 to 159.
Sunday, the two battle hardened teams met on the track. Both knew they had the ticket to St. Paul but where were they going to fit into the picture?
There were only a few lead changes in the first half as Music City dominated. The Sacrificers were putting up a great fight as the score at Halftime was Nashville 99 Sacred City 97.
The second half got started with a bang as The Sacrificers took the lead and held onto it for the next couple of jams before starting the lead change shuffle. In the last five minutes it looked as if The Sacrificers were going to take it as they were leading by a small margin but The All Stars offense kept getting into penalty trouble. After calling a time out to try to gather themselves together and take a breath, Music City sent Lady Fury to the jammer line against Ariel-LA-twister.
Lady Fury made it out of the pack first and got Lead Jammer. Ariel-LA-twister was sent to the penalty box giving her a power jam with the jam clock being the only time remaining. Lady Fury made her scoring run and after getting the ghost point, called off the jam and won the game 194 to 189.
What does this mean for Kansas City? Since The All-Stars took the number one spot in Cleveland last weekend, they will go on to play The Sacrificers in St. Paul with Music City playing The Dynamite Dolls. The winners of those games will go on to play each other for all the marbles of Division 2.
I had a chance to talk to Doctor Dread before the Nashville/Sacred City game. We both predicted a Sacred City victory after Saturdays game but she may get her wish for a game against Nashville before it's all said and done. Unfortunately, she was having to lead from track side in Cleveland as a wrist injury is still healing. Hopefully she'll be back to 100% by November.
Now that they have a face to put to their opponent I'm sure The All-Stars will be training hard after taking the week off. November is closer than it looks but I'm sure that Doctor Dread and the coaching staff will have the team ready to eat nails by that time. Stay tuned to this website for updates.
August 21 - 23, 2015 - Cleveland, Ohio
The All-Stars hit the road for The Division 2 Playoffs that started August 21st. The event was hostessed by Burning River Roller Derby and held in the historic 10,000 seat Cleveland Public Auditorium. This was their first trip to Division 2.
The road has been less than friendly to The All-Stars this season. They lost more games than they won and finished at number 45. This has been a building year, to say the least. But oh, what they've built.
Fridays game was against St. Chux Derby Chix's Pack In Black. Hailing from St. Peters, Missouri, The Pack In Black have played 12 games this season and lost eight of them. They are part of the North Central Region which is partly why KCRW has never faced them before despite being from the same state. Their team captain is Pixie Dust-Ruction. Kansas City won the bout 218 to 149 and moved on to play Houston Roller Derby's All Stars on Saturday.
HRD is also part of the South Central Region and was formed around the same time as KCRW. This season they've won six out of their ten games and would prove to be a formidable opponent.
Right off, in the first jam of the game, Houston drew first blood when Big Bad Voodoo Dollie scored three points and shut it down before they could be answered. It wasn't until the third jam when A.P. Leasure was finally able to put points on the board and managed to tie it up 16-16. The following jam, Jessika Boom had an incredible scoring run and managed a very comfortable lead for KC, 31-16. That was short lived however, because in Jam 6 Speed O' went on a scoring run of her own and brought Houston up 39 to 31. Houston was still leading going into the half, 108 to 104. Kansas City would need to take this time to rally.
Within the first jam of the second period, rally they did. Jessika Boom went on another amazing scoring run and by the time she was done KC was leading 129 to 112. Try as they might, Houston was never able to recover and by the time the final whistle blew KCRW was sitting pretty at 249 to 196. They now had two victories and a day to recover before facing Demolition City.
Demolition City Roller Derby's Dynamite Dolls have called Evansville, Indiana home since 2007. They became an official WFTDA team three years later. They're not strangers to Division 2 Playoffs and they won 8 of their 14 games this season. This was the last game of the night and the winner had the number one spot going into The Championships in November. The All-Stars were going to have a fight on their hands.
Things got off to a rocky start as Bambi ThumpHer put 10 unanswered points on the board in the first jam. Case Closed put four on the board in the second as the defense held The Dolls scoreless. In Jam 6, Mary Lou Wretched sparked the light of hope as she brought the score to 18-18. She would also go on a scoring run in Jam 11 and provide The All-Stars with their first lead of the game, 33-23. They managed to hold the lead through Halftime, 73 to 45.
The second period would see The All-Stars continuing to dominate with some incredible defense as well as offense. By the time all was said and done, KCRW had defeated their third and final opponent 171 to 142.
So what happens now? The All-Stars will go on to The Championships in St. Paul, Minnesota in November to play the number two team from The Playoffs game being played in Detroit, Michigan August 28th through the 30th. The Dynamite Dolls will play the number one team from that tournament in November and finally, the winners of those two games will play each other to see who goes home victorious and who just goes home.
Another positive note to end this leg of the D2's on, All-Star veteran player Bruz Her picked up Tournament MVP! Job well done and heart felt congratulations go out to her.
Stay tuned to this website as we keep you posted on all of the tournament action. Until next time.
Monday, August 17th - Winnwood Skate Center
Tonight was the season finale of The Junior Warriors. Everybody seemed to be in good spirits as they put on the pink or green one last time before hanging it up until next year. For Rolling Thunder it meant one last shot at a victory while Starry Fright was just looking to keep their winning streak going.
Illumihottie took the jammer line for Starry Fright and established dominance early by scoring 20 points. Schwack-Her put 8 points on the board for Rolling Thunder in the next jam but it was going to be a long hard period for the girls in pink as Starry Fright's offense continued to rack up points of their own. By Halftime Starry Fright was leading 101 to 66.
The second half got under way and, despite a couple of power jams, last years champions just couldn't turn the tide. Starry Fright ended up with 192 over 131.
The MVP Jammer for Rolling Thunder was Roll E. Poll with the Blocker award going to Forrest Bump. Starry Fright's MVP Jammer was Rayzor and the MVP Blocker was Lyndstigator. Also, receiving their retirement awards were Demon Seed, Emma Geddon, Hannibalistic and Pebbles. What does the future hold for these not so Junior Warriors? Hopefully, we'll find out next season.
Speaking of next season, The Junior Warriors have a dream and that dream is to join the JRDA (Junior Roller Derby Association). But Jack, you're asking yourself, what does this have to do with me? It has everything to do with you, especially if you have a child between the ages of 10 and 17. It takes players to make a team and The Junior Warriors need you to play. Some of you reading carefully may have noticed that I wrote child and not daughter. This is not an attempt at political correctness, this means that it is open to girls AND boys. For more information just check this website or contact email@example.com .
Don't forget about The All-Stars on August 21st-23rd as they skate their way through the Division 2 Championships in Cleveland. Follow along at home on WFTDA.TV (check WFTDA.TV for details).
Saturday, August 15, 2015 - Topeka
When last we left our heroines of the flat track they had gone to St. Louis and lost their first game of this season, 264 to 150. That was last month, this month they are in Topeka to take on The Capital City Crushers.This will be their sixth bout since 2010. Plan B has been victorious all of the years past. Could this be the year that Topeka turns it around? After the Mad Maxines upset against The All-Stars back in July, your correspondent is saying that any bets on a sure thing are off.
Taking a look at the hostess team, The Crushers have won six out of their ten games so far this season. Retention from last season is high so they are not having to start from scratch and build up a fresh set of rookies. They have only lost one out of their six games played at home (against No Coast's Road Warriors). Plan B is facing a different team than they have in years past.
I asked team captain Scarlet O'Scare Ya if they had been working on anything specific for this game or if they were just coming at this with a business as usual outlook. She told me that they were confident in just focusing on the fundamentals and playing to the best of their ability. This was the first year that they have been able to do that and it's worked more times than it hasn't.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the track, Plan B is lacing up their skates and getting their game face on. In a pre-game pow wow with Sk8l Attraction, we tackled the white elephant in the room head on-has the loss of the last game shaken the confidence of the team? She told me about how they had talked about it as a team and analyzed everything that happened that night. If anything, she said, the confidence level has been reinforced since it showed them what areas needed improvement and what was working. Everybody's really pumped up for the last game, we're going out on a good note.
When asked for a pre-game prediction, Scarlet O'Scare Ya said, "It'll be close. This is always our biggest game of the season so hopefully this will be our year." Sk8l Attraction had a hard time keeping the blood lust out of her voice as she praised the defense, "We're going to beat the shit out of them. Our walls are looking good and solid, I'm having trouble getting around them."
Sk8l took the line against Cecilia Pain as the game got under way. The Crushers drew first blood and held control until the third jam when Rayna Pain finally put some points on the board and brought the score 6 to 8 in favor of Topeka. The next jam brought a big jump as Rita "Jenna Jamazon" Ploy brought Plan B to the forefront with a score of 26 to 16. They held the lead until the the 12th jam when things took a strange turn.
I'm pretty sure that everybody has had that fantasy where you show up to the thing of your choice (concert, sporting event, spelling bee, whatever) and somebody has taken ill or been injured and there is a last minute scramble to find a replacement so that the show can go on. Suddenly, you are called upon to step in and take care of business.
The jam had just ended, The Crushers had just reclaimed the lead by one point and I had just made a note of this when I looked up to see The Pain coming over to tell me that she told the head ref I know how to jam time. Okay, I thought, and what does this have to do with the price of tea in China? As I'm noticing a general disorganization on the track where players should be lining up and the refs should be getting ready and the jam timer should be...missing?...the head ref, Jessie James, comes over and asks me if I can fill in as the jam timer apparently just had a melt down and left the track. Sure coach, put me in, just let me go grab my stuff. Luckily, I had my bag in my car since it was holding both of my work shirts (the one I just came from and the one I was going to after the game). This brought a brief point of contention as the shirt I was currently wearing said Plan B on the front and writer on the back. Luckily, Topeka has a surplus of sanctioned NSO shirts so after a wardrobe change, I found myself out on the track blowing the whistle and getting the game back under way.
If only Plan B could get things back on track as easily. By Halftime they were still trailing The Crushers 97 to 93. Sk8l would need a good locker room speech to turn things around.
Speaking of turning things around, it was at Halftime that things took another weird turn into The Twilight Zone. As the teams were leaving the track, one of the fans ran into the middle and started hollering about how the game couldn't be over yet. She was ranting about something as the announcer was trying to get security to come escort her off the track. As I'm wondering if I'm about to be drafted into service again (the job I'm heading to after the game pays me to deal with problems like this when folks have had too much to drink), about 14 more people run onto the track and start doing aerobics to Silento's Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae). Now I really feel like I'm at work. It turns out that they're all part of a local thing called Family Fitness Flash Mob. This is Topeka, Jake.
The second half got under way and it looked like Plan B was finally getting down to business. It looked a little bleak in the early part of the period but around the middle, Rayna Pain got a power jam and tied things up. Not too long after that, Sk8l Attraction got a power jam as well and gave Plan B a comfortable lead.
With less than six minutes of game time left, Capital City player Led Zippen went down in a pack. The EMT's tended to her and an ambulance was eventually called and she was carried off the track. Thoughts and hopes go out for a speedy recovery.
After a 25 minute game delay, the teams warmed up and the action was back under way. The score was still close enough that anybody could still win. However, as the final seconds ticked off the jam clock, it was Plan B who stood victorious with a score of 233 to 221. What a way to finish the season!
The MVP Blocker for The Capital City Crushers was Brawlin Barbie and the MVP Jammer was Maliciousmel5. Plan B's MVP Blocker was The Pain and The Jammer was Rayna Pain. Congratulations to all!
Well folks, just because Plan B's season is over is no need to start hibernating. The Junior Warriors have their season finale on August 17th and of course, The All-Stars are taking a little trip to Cleveland the 21st through the 23rd for Division 2 Playoffs. You can find all of the details right here on this website. Until next time, this is Jack Kerowhack signing off.
Wednesday, August 10, 2015 - Winnwood Skate Center
The third home game of The Junior Warriors occurred on Monday, August 10th. The mood was light as everybody prepared for the big event. Last years champions, The Rolling Thunder, have yet to win a game this season. I asked coach Sk8l Attraction if she had come up with a game plan for a possible victory. She looked at me confidently and said, "winning is the plan." Starry Fright's Coach McBomb sounded just as confident when she added, "green team's going to win."
Both teams have a relatively full roster. Rolling Thunder had three players on the illness & injury list to Starry Fright's one. Notably, not on the list, was Illumihotti. This game marks her return since early July.
She took the line to start the game and drew first blood. It looks like her recovery has been successful. The Starry Fright offense seemed to be following her lead and holding the opposition at bay until the third jam when The Doctor started operating and got the thunder rolling, tying the score 8-8. Things went back and forth for a while but then in the 11th jam Roll E.Pole gave Rolling Thunder their first significant lead of the night, 61-58. That, however, did not last long and by Halftime Starry Fright was leading 114 to 73.
Starry Fright kept their momentum going through the second half. Rolling Thunder got within eight points of a tie around the middle of the period but then fell behind. Starry Fright chalked up their third victory, 186 to 113.
The MVP's, as voted by the players, were Blocker Hannibalistic and Jammer The Doctor for Rolling Thunder and Blocker Evil O and Jammer Sailor Saturn for Starry Fright.
Don't forget that Plan B will be taking on The Cap City Crushers on the 15th and The Junior Warriors have their final home game on the 17th at Winnwood.
Saturday, August 1, 2015 - Ballwin, Missouri
Plan B took a little east to play Arch Rivals' Saint Lunachix on Saturday. The Saint Lunachix have only had one loss this season, against The Dynamite Dolls of Demolition City Roller Derby. Plan B is undefeated. These two teams last played each other in may of last year and it resulted in a win for The Saint Lunachix. Plan B will be coming in looking for a little pay back. When asked for her pre-game thoughts, Saint Lunachix team captain Fletch a Sketch commented, "We have a really good roster, I think it's going to be a good game. We're pretty excited because this is our last game of the season."
I caught up with Sk8l Attraction who definitely had business in mind when when she replied, "I'm feeling pretty confident. We have some good jammers on the roster and we've been playing well lately. I try not to get distracted by too much outside of that."
When the whistle blew, The Saint Lunachix were prepared to take no prisoners. They dominated the board until the fifth jam when Ms. Attraction was able to put up 3 points to their 20. This did little to slow down the St. Louis momentum as the score became 129 to 47 going into Halftime.
Photos by Anya Neezenbeg
As the second half got under way, it started to feel like Plan B was starting to rally. They were putting points on the board and the defense was slowing The Lunachix progress. Unfortunately, the score never got close enough to make a victory more than a fleeting thought but that never stopped the girls in black and red from trying.
In the final jam, Plan B is trailing by more points than is humanly possible to make up in two minutes. JessiKa Boom gets Lead Jammer and has a 14 point jam. Even the St. Louis fans were feeling the excitement as she would cut through the pack untouched. The Lunachix jammer was hot on her heels until she hit a wall of white jerseys. Eventually she would get free and make it around the track just to have the best angle to see JessiKa make another scoring pass. Yours truly hasn't seen anything that inspiring since Case Closed kept hope alive, if only briefly, back in 2010's Uproar On The Lakeshore championship game against the Philly Liberty Belles. KCRW lost that game too, but they lost with class and style. The final score: Saint Lunachix-264 Plan B-150.
Plan B will be in Topeka on the 15th for their final game of the season. You won't want to miss that. If the 15th is too long to wait for more derby action, The Junior Warriors have you covered with a game on Monday, August 10th. More details available on this website. Will Rolling Thunder topple the mighty Starry Fright? You'll have to show up to find out.