Monday, October 11, 2010

Return of the RollerGirls: Season Seven preview

Only days remain before the doors of the Legendary Roy Wilkins swings open. Only days remain before the fans return, rocking the orange and red and green and pink. Only days before rookies put their newfound skills on the line. Days before the Minnesota RollerGirls begin anew the fight for the Golden Skate.

The home season is starting for reals, folks. Though many have been playing and practicing as part of the All-Star team since the season ended, most of our players returned in August and started to pick up the teams where they left off. The thing is, between our upcoming trip to the Championship tournament and the twenty new women in our league (not to mention the newly-formed Debut-Taunt farm league), we have made a massive leap forward that's difficult to quantify with stats and a naming of names.

Since so much has happened, we thought that we should ask the team's captains a bit about their players as we begin our seventh season. This is a preview of the four teams of the Minnesota RollerGirls from the women who run them. Some had a lot to say; some have decided to let their skills do the talking on Saturday. Read on.

Atomic Bombshells: Co-captains - Venus Thightrap and Diamond Rough

Could you introduce your rookies to us? The Bombshells were fortunate this year to draft not only very talented skaters but individuals who have an eagerness to learn strategy and fit very well on our team.
Bully Jean - goes by "Bully" or "Jeano". Current Bombshells have noted “She will be a serious blocking force. She has great attitude, dedication and learns fast. Very positive, wants to learn, really works hard.”
Freeze Baby - goes by "Freeze". One word comes to mind when I think of Freeze - Perseverance. This woman never gives up and is always fighting her way through the pack. This summer Bombshells said that Freeze was already “Very good – very agile, quick and clever."
Hurtrude Stein - goes by "Trudy". Her quiet demeanor belies her desire to lay outopponents. She hits hard and we look forward to seeing how her strength can power through opponents during a jam. This summer, Bombshells told us “She’s a power house!” and that she is “Very confident on her skates”.
Smoka Hontas - goes by "Smoka". This woman has a glare that could kill and has the derby skills to back it up. We are very thankful she came to us from Angel City [Los Angeles]. Look for her both blocking and jamming this season. During the summer, many Bombshells noted that she “clearly brings derby skill and experience."

What decisions led to your team's second team championship last season? In the words of biggest little fan, Mini Skatesov, the desire to “smoosh” our opponents! We decided as a team last year that we would not let the Rockits win and we accomplished that - twice! The captains at the time, Mitzi Massacre and Misfit Maiden, trained us to think faster, skate harder and be more strategic in game play. We were fortunate to have the endurance and talent to skate with much less than a full-roster. It was our year for the Golden Skate and we were very pleased to have been able to take it home on April 4th.

Every couple of years, the Bombshells rewrite the book on themselves. I see new captains and a new bench coach. Is this a rebuilding season? While we might have lost a few wonderful players this year - Mae Gusta and Misfit Maiden – there are many great things happening for the Atomic Bombshells. We have been fortunate to have retired skaters return - Lizzy the Axe, CleoSPLATra, and Flora Flipabitch. BOOMbay Safire is skating again and injury free! Retired ref Rocky will be bench coaching. We have a full roster this season and many of our skaters have improved greatly over the course of the summer! Our team is getting stronger and smarter every day. Many Bombshells are on the All-Star team and have brought back to us a wealth of talent and knowledge (and an MNRG trip to the WFTDA Championships). Other skaters spent the summer assisting the new recruits at bootcamp. And, while we changed the leadership roles this year, Mitzi Massacre is still bringing her skills and wisdom to the track. If you want the two most fierce and intense captains, the Bombshells have them. But, that being said, D.Rough and I balance each other very well and try to make sure the Bombshells are having a really great time while working their butts off.

In essence, we are still very much the same team we were before - tight-knit, full of joy and we never give up. We sincerely enjoy spending time together outside of derby and support each other in our personal lives. We trust each other on the track and we know we have each other’s backs. When teams enjoy being together both on and off the track, it shows when you play and it's a skill you can't teach or practice - it just happens. We're just a very fortunate to have a team where our personalities mesh well with one another. This is really the driving force behind what makes the Atomic Bombshells so good at what we do - we want to succeed together and have a vested interest in each other.

Additional thoughts on the upcoming game? The Golden skate has had a fabulous summer, traveling the midwest and seeing the world. We hope to keep the Championship title with orange and have a blast doing it. While the Rockits are pretty, strong, and we like the way some of them yell, we will be doing all we can as a team to go for the win.

Dagger Dolls: Co-captains - Psycho Novia and Wonderbroad

Could you introduce your new players to us? Juke Boxx- formerly a member of the Mad Rollin' Dolls (Madison, WI), played for the Vaudville Vixons (home team), and the Dairyland Dolls (Traveling Team). Currently a member of the MNRG All-Stars.
Naughty Kitty- formerly a member of the North Star Roller Girls (Minneapolis, MN), captain of Delta Delta Di (NSRG home team) and played for the Supernovas (NSRG travelling team). Currently a member the MNRG All-Stars.
Olga Ogilthorpe- formerly a member of the North Star Roller Girls (Minneapolis, MN), captain of Delta Delta Di (NSRG home team) and played for the Supernovas (NSRG travelling team).
[editor's note: let's not also forget Angelfire, Tiki Torture, and Hanna Belle Lector, formerly of the Garda Belts and members of the MNRG All-Stars.]

How is the team adjusting to having so many new players with so much previous experience? Well, we really only picked [the MNRG rookies] because they are all hot blondes and look great in pink (all of their former home teams are pink). So they fit in just fine!

The big question - the Dolls are on a 0-11 run. What changes this year to break the losing streak? We're not going to give away our secrets, silly.

Garda Belts: Co-captains - Citizen Pain and Anita Spankston

Could you introduce your rookies to us? I've been really impressed with all of our rookies this year and we are really happy to have our newest Gardas. These athletes have been quick to learn, hard working and are salivating to get the season started with our first bout. Their fresh enthusiasm has really brought this team together in great ways.

The Freshest of meat: Moto Fluzzi, Sintripetal Force and Wolfe Bite. All three of these Gardas have really impressed me with their focus, determination, and general skill set. Keep an eye on them throughout the season cause they are quickly shedding their rookie skin.

Familiar faces in the derby world: Not totally new to derby, former refs Dropkick Donna and Glam Slam are ready to be inside the track boundaries and kick some booty - Green style. They know the game well and they are ready to put it into action.

Familiar with playing derby: Shiva Shakin and Betty LaRude are amazing! We are confident in them and we know that we can rely on them to see what needs to be done, Garda style.

The Gardas have not yet won the Skate in the league's history. Is this the Gardas' year? Every year is the Garda's year! We work hard to do our absolute best and then even better so there is NO denying that were are out there to win and play to do so. We play with heart and fight until the end so of course it's our year!

When a fan thinks, 'Garda Belt', what sort of play on the track do you hope she thinks of? Owning the track with dedicated, sharp and solid play. Throughout the seasons we've been known to be very good at defense but you can't solely rely on that. We're ready to play our game the way we want to control it and make the others beg for it to be over!

The Rockits: Co-captains - Scarmen Hellectra and Pain Gretzky

Could you introduce your rookies to us? Commander Nix: this wily speedster was the top rookie pick. Already an amazing jammer, look for her wearing the star.
Kit Shinkicker: versatile and fiery, this blocker / jammer is a true double threat. She soaks up strategy like a sponge.
Salvador Brawlie: we've been scouting out this tenacious up-and-comer since day one. She has the passion and never gives up, no matter what position she takes on.
Rockits would also like to welcome former Dagger Doll Patently Offensive to the team. We always thought she'd look good in sparkly red.

The Atomic Bombshells figured you out last year, why won't the other two teams? The Rockits have never really had any secret strategies. We've just always been the team that shows up to practice all the time so our teamwork is tight. We like to run tough practices and work our tails off. Really, our only plan is to play the game better and faster than the rest.

You lost Harmony, our top point scorer. How will you evolve to make up for that? Losing Harmony is a big deal, yes. It would be pretty rad indeed if she could spontaneously moved back to MN. Ha! Rockit pipe dreams. But...I think our bench is deeper now than it ever was before. A few seasons back, we essentially had a two jammer rotation. Now, over half the team can be called upon to jam at any time. We intend to keep teaching all of the great drills that Harmony dreamed up. And, we like to use the phrase "what the CRAP!" because it makes us feel as though Harmony is still skating with us.

Why are the Rockits rad? Cake, gummi bears, turtles, chickens. Also, "that's what she said".

There's only one more thing you need to know: this Saturday, the MNRG champion Atomic Bombshells  take on the Rockits.  This grudge match will determine an early advantage for one of these teams on the path to the Golden Skate.  These two teams have won the MNRG league trophy for five of our six seasons; be assured - they'll leave everything on the track to get this win. 

Meanwhile, the Garda Belts and the Dagger Dolls start this season anew.  This will be a game that will make you rethink everything you understood about the Dollies and the women in Green.  Trust us; you do not want to miss this bout.  Both the Gardas and the Dolls have been playing teams outside of the Twin Cities as a run-up to this bout; they are confident about their teams, and they are ready to amaze their fans.

You've heard from the players. Get your tickets. We will see you at the Roy.

Reporting from the exact geographical center of derby today,
-Garrison Killer


Chao said...

Perfectly written, Garrison. I loved it. I'm super looking forward to this weekend, as well!

Any predictions for the Golden Skate this year? You KNOW there are 20 girls (and 5,000+ fans) who would love to see you eat your predictive-words... :)

Garrison Killer said...

Heh. I made an errant remark about one of the teams a couple of years back. Heard about for an entire season.

I'll pass.

Chao said...

Safely played, friend. And you don't want to incite the anger of roller girls. I don't blame you one bit.

Shiver Me said...


my bet's on pink.


-SMK #667