Domination, team-work, communication –these are a few of my favorite things. And these are also the words that come to mind in the Brute Squad’s thumping of Dutchland’s Orange Crush (OC) on Sunday morning, Sept 21st. We were all a little nervous with our beloved Koach HotWheels on vacation, however Rapid ArrhythMIA stepped up to take the helm alongside the Brawlers’ bench coach Chops. She even sported a hairstyle and wardrobe reminiscent of Koach. This game also marked the first bout ever for our newest fresh meat Ariz-OWN’ya and the return of Kelly Krueger.
Ultra Shear-her started off the game with what turned into a 14 point power jam and the Brute squad never looked back. There was a steady 4 jammer rotation of ShearHer, PhloxUup, Drop Pop N Lock and Dee Linquent. ShearHer, who apparently eats blockers for breakfast, bettered her 1st jam by putting up another 19 points in jam 3. Within the first 12 jams, the Brute Squad had gained lead status a staggering 11 times! With two blockers in the box it looked like OC might have an advantage but the blocking pair of Rontanamo Bay and Krueger had other ideas. They held the OC jammer allowing Linq to acquire lead and score.
Drop Pop N Lock stepped on the track and decided to show off some moves by jumping the apex past an OC blocker that VALociraptor literally sat down, to score and call off the jam before the OC jammer could reach the pack. The first half was winding down with ShearHer on fire, getting lead 11 of 13 times and VAL and Ronton each leading their respective blockers in defense. Poppy decided ShearHer was having too much fun and put up 20 points of her own during a power jam. Phlox then sees Poppy and raises her 5 points with a 25 point jam of her own. But what’s this? The OC jammer was on the track the entire time during Phlox’s jam? Why yes, yes she was. Due to the blocking crew of VAL, DonT BeA Baby, Walker WrexUs Danger and rookie Ariz-own’ya who crushed ALL the souls not even allowing the OC jammer an initial pass. This took us into half time with a score of 163 to 37 in favor of the Brute Squad.
Second half same as the first, just a little bit louder and a little bit worse – in the case of the nightmares the Brutes were giving the OC jammers anyway. ShearHer again started it off for her 12th lead jammer status. VAL, T, Phlox and Ari proved to be a force to be reckoned with holding the OC jammer allowing Linq to complete two scoring passes. VAL then returned with a bookend of encyclopedic proportions allowing ShearHer to easily pick up lead. Ronton not wanting to be left out then became a wrecking ball while reverse blocking, laying out the OC jammer. ShearHear took out her track shoes hurtling bodies through two turns and a straightaway in order to gain yet another lead status and put up some more points. VAL, Walker, T and Phlox made another impenetrable wall for Linq allowing her 4 scoring passes this time before the OC jammer could get an initial pass.
All in all the Brutes managed to allow fewer points scored by the OC in the second half than the first, resulting in final score of 275 to 71.
MVPs for the Brute Squad: Ultra ShearHer and Drop Pop N Lock
MVPs for the Orange Crush: Madam D.
Only 6 days left to help the Belligerents get to Duluth, MN for D2 Playoffs! This is their first appearance at playoffs and we are all very excited!
In order to help offset travel expenses we’ve opened a t-shirt fundraiser. The t-shirt features the silhouettes of 4 of your favorite Belligerent skaters, can you guess who they are?
You can buy a shirt or just donate to the fundraiser! Shirts will be delivered roughly 2 weeks after the fundraiser closes (20 days from now). Be sure to get this limited edition t-shirt while you can!
What can get you started on a Sunday morning better than a shot of espresso? How about a 1 point roller derby game?! At o’dark thirty on Sunday the 20th of July, the Brawlers took on State College Area Rollers’ (S.C.A.R.) A team, the Happy Valley Girls.
What’s that? BRG’s B team played an A team? You are correct. And it was a defensive battle from the get go. The Brawlers played musical chairs with the star panty using 6 different jammers; Ultra Shear-her, Dee Linquent, Thresher, Ka$h & Prizes, Drop Pop N Lock, and Rontanamo Bay all taking turns.
The first power jam of the game came and saw Dee Linquent, a rookie, scoring 5 points. This was followed up with Ultra Shear-her’s own power jam putting up 10 points. The lead switched no less than a gazillion times the first half with a late power jam by SCAR to go up 81 to 68 to end the half.
No doubt one of Koach Hot Wheels’ patented half time pep talks caused the Brawlers to come out fighting the second half. But SCAR dominated lead jammer status the first four jams. That was until they met the wall of Starbucks, Emma D JennaRat, Thresher and DonT BeA Baby. This iron wall shut down SCAR’s lead forcing her to call without scoring while crushing her soul in run backs four separate times.
That was followed by an amazeballs power jam by Ka$h and Prizes which put up 12 points. Not to be outdone, Rontonamo Bay, A.Moral, Ballerinka Barbie, and Emma D JennaRat held the SCAR jammer in the pack allowing Drop Pop N Lock to break through and put up 15 points of her own.
The BRG defense continued to perform festivus worthy feats of strength with a blocking duo of Sin Ickle and Ballerinka Barbie’s containment of the SCAR jammer. Starbucks and Emma D JennaRat then came in on the next jam perfecting the position of offensive blocker each making holes for Ka$h and Prizes allowing her to rack up 14 points on a power jam.
By this point the score was akin to watching a tennis match with all of the lead changes. Ka$h and Prizes put up another 10 point power jam to make it a 5 point game in SCAR’s favor with 5 minutes to go. Drop Pop N Lock was able to tie it up on the next jam. Here’s where it got dicey – with less than 2 minutes BRG was down by 4, with only 32 seconds left BRG was down by 1. What looked to be the last jam had SCAR’s jammer called it off with a 4 point advantage over BRG.
However she committed a fatal mistake – she called off the jam 2 seconds too early and committed a penalty whilst doing it. This allowed for Koach Hot Wheels to call a last second time out, literally, cementing another jam. Drop Pop N Lock took the star for the Brawlers in the power jam and managed to get lead jammer, score 5 points, call off the jam AND win the game! Nothing short of epic. Final score: BRG 164 SCAR 163.
MVP Blocker BRG: Rontonamo Bay MVP Jammer BRG: Drop Pop N Lock
MVP Blocker SCAR: Em Munition MVP Jammer SCAR: Flower POW’her
I like to Pivot because I’m bossy. Seriously (I really am bossy though), Pivoting is some serious business, it’s a huge responsibility to be the person on the team watching everything happen around her and still be able to let everyone know what’s going on in the game. You have to know your strategy, what’s going on, and how to react; all while letting your teammates know the same, in about five seconds.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My mental opinion of myself. I had surgery to replace my torn ACL in my left leg in Feb 2013. Coming back from an injury can be very daunting when you have missed almost a year of practices. You start to tell yourself how much you’ve missed, how much you need to catch up on, how impossible it is or seems.
My daily monologue changed from a “you can do it” to a “can you do it?” Luckily I have a fantastic support system in my teammates, my dojo and in my family. They help bring back the “you CAN do it” monologue. Thanks guys. You are the BEST, and boy am I lucky.
Have the skills required in your “real life” contributed to your experience in roller derby?
I’ve always been pretty bossy, been able to pick up things quickly, and have a can-do attitude. I feel like that’s what I contribute on and off the track. It’s helped immensely with strategy, with coaching, bench managing.
What is your pre derby athletic background? Do you continue these while playing derby?
I am a green belt in Cuong Nhu karate. I was doing karate before I started derby and attend class when I can. It’s such a joy for me and I really feel like I can pull a lot of the practices from karate into derby. Every sport is a mental game, and karate is more than just learning the moves to defend yourself. It’s philosophy can be applied everywhere.
Who is your biggest fan?
My husband and my kids! My husband is an announcer (Mr. Rat) and my kids are always telling me how proud they are of me. They would travel everywhere with me if they could! My Mom comes in a close second; she actually purchased the skates I currently use when I realized I broke my first pair. Go MOM!
How do you find the balance between roller derby and “real” life?
Every single piece of my day is planned to the minute. I have to structure time for work, time for kids, time for hubby and time for derby. I have trouble over-committing – so it’s a daily struggle.
What is you pre-bout ritual?
I’m the league treasurer, so there is a lot of stuff to do before home bout day. The one consistent thing I do no matter the bout day, is have a “breakfast of champions” where I try to eat a little bit of everything. Advice I received from my Sensei before a karate belt test, “fruits, veggies and proteins.”…you name it. I stay away from super sugary stuff and stick with water for the 24 hours before a bout.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Keyes