Thank you for a fantastic 2014 & Happy New Year!

2014 Brandywine Roller Girls Season Recap 

Highlights:

  • BRG entered the WFTDA ranked at #53 in the world
  • Our travel teams competed in more than 20 bouts
  • 6 of our players were named to the PA-Allstars Travel Team
  • We played teams from as far away as Australia and Helsinki, Finland
  • We qualified for and competed successfully in the Division 2 Playoffs

13 states, 3 countries, a divisional playoff – Oh My!

With our apprenticeship in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFDTA) complete, we set our sights on high level play and a bid to qualify for Division 2 Playoffs. In order to do this we restructured the league, eliminating home teams and creating three world class travel teams: The Belligerents (Charter/A level), The Brawlers (B level) and The Brute Squad (All levels).

The league added a couple of transfers to the roster (Thresher and Starbucks) and familiar faces from the past returned (Emma D. JennaRat and Crash Bansheecoot) to round out the roster. With goals set high, the Belligerents started the season with a road trip to Cincinnati and a new level of play: a stadium with a crowd of over 1000, ushers, live feed, and a JUMBOTRON! Hard work paid off and the Belligerents walked away with a decisive win.

Ithaca, NY (Ithaca League of Women Rollers – SufferJets Charter/A and Blue Stockings B) came to Caln Skating Center to play us at home and the Belligerents scored our second win of the season.

Then we went all international with our bad selves and took on Tri-City in Ontario, Canada and added another notch in our laces. That win put us in the top 40 of WFTDA! The little league that could broke into Division I less than a year after becoming a member of WFTDA.

March 31, 2014 we were ranked #40 and thus in Division 1 of the WFTDA!

March 31, 2014 we were ranked #40 and thus in Division 1 of the WFTDA!

Then our season headed south, literally. The Belligerents suffered a hard loss to Nashville, TN at the Southern Discomfort tournament in South Carolina. The team rebounded with a win against Charlotte, NC. but suffered some damage in regards to injury and retirement. The Belligerents needed to prepare to take on Green Mountain, Vermont in light of these losses and managed to soldier on and beat them at home.

BRG then prepared for a huge trip across the border to Canada once again to face a top 20 Toronto team. This was a chance to show our mettle and although it resulted in a loss, BRG received plenty of positive attention for our talent, tenacity, and teamwork.

Both the Belligerents and the Brawlers fell at home to DC shortly afterwards. These were a couple of hard losses as they majorly affected the ranking we had built up during the early part of the season.

Belligerents at Southern Discomfort Dirty Rox-Tini and Anya Alnight work together to block the jammer from Charlotte, NC.

Belligerents at Southern Discomfort
Dirty Rox-Tini and Anya Alnight work together to block the jammer from Charlotte, NC.
Photo credit: Andrew Keyes

In the third week of June, BRG scheduled ALL THE DERBS and took on Helsinki, Finland, Victorian Roller Derby out of Australia (ranked in the top 10, by the way) and Blue Ridge, North Carolina in the span of 4 days. This resulted in 0-3 win/loss due in part to a prior skater injury and another major injury during the Australian game. However, the strategy of taking on such high ranked teams worked in our favor. The entire league sat on pins and needles for the next 2 weeks waiting to see if The Belligerents could hold on to a coveted division play-off spot despite the number of losses during the later half of the season. The news came in the second week of July that we would head to Duluth, Minnesota; we were going to the show!

We took the good with the bad as we learned that Not Knotty would be leaving BRG after the play-offs for a new job in Wisconsin. We also congratulated Starbucks on a promotion and lost her to “real life” and one other charter roster member was unable to make the trip. To boost the roster, The Belligerents held a mid-season tryout and pulled Ballerinka from Brawlers to the Belligerents. The team made the trip with 11 skaters as opposed to the allowable full roster of 14. Several of these 11 were working to manage injuries from such a full season including Anya Alnight and Skinny Guinea.

The Belligerents came out on top with a decisive win for the first game against Omaha, NE and suddenly we were Cinderella at the ball. In spite of losses to Detroit, MI (who later went on to win the Division 2 Championship), Suburbia (New York), and Brew City (Wisconsin) the Belligerents made the scene. BRG was now known in the derby community as the little team with big hearts.

The Belligerents regroup at the end of their game against Omaha during Division 2 Playoffs

The Belligerents regroup at the end of their game against Omaha during Division 2 Playoffs

Returning home marked a bittersweet reality: we had just played DIVISIONALS, but lost some major players along the way. How would The Belligerents regroup? With starting jammer, Skinny Guinea, ailing from a knee injury the Belligerents were once again looking at a short bench. But wait, what’s that gleam in the distance? Could it be the shiny wheels of two new transfers? Yes, MRSA LA from Harrisburg and Raggedy Aneurysm from Dutchland, made the move along with a trio of Brawlers (Merry Deathstar, VALociraptor, and Rontanamo Bay) to play one final game against Philly’s Independence Dolls in one of the best bouts of the season. Brandywine took the win and ended the season on a massive high note.

Actual record: 7-9, what we feel: (in our best Dr. Evil voice) 1 Million – 0.

The Brawlers, BRG’s B team captained by Sin Ickle and VALociraptor, had their fair share of ups and downs with victories, injuries and players leaving. The Brawlers dropped their first game in Cincinnati but rebounded with a win against Ithaca’s B team at home. The Brawlers also went international and traveled to Ontario dropping a heartbreaker to Tri-City, then made up for it by handing Pottstown Roller Derby Rockstars a beating. After dropping three in a row to DC, Charm City, and Free State the Brawlers found their groove against Garden State at the East Coast Derby Extravaganza (ECDX). The winning streak continued against State College, Susquehanna Valley, and Garden State, but once again this was not without pain. Losing key skaters Ka$h & Prizes, Emma D. JennaRat, Jacquelyn Heat, and Jen Hex, the Brawlers were also left with a short bench. The Brawlers finished the season with a record of 5 wins and 6 losses and are very much looking forward to replenishing their roster and dominating next season.

Brawlers Action Jen Hex blocks the jammer from State College Area Roller derby

Brawlers Action
Jen Hex blocks the jammer from State College Area Roller derby
Photo credit: Andrew Keyes

Brute Squad SMASH!!! This little C team made up mostly of rookies did what the Belligerents and the Brawlers could not this year: finish with a winning record! Welcome to derby for the newest BRG skaters – ‘mErica, Dee Linquent, and Ariz-OWN’ya! Welcome back Kelly Krueger and Holly WallBangHer. The Brute Squad had a rough start with losses against Two Rivers and Charm City but they turned up the heat the last part of the season and finished strong with the rematch win against Two Rivers followed by wins over Dutchland Crush and Reading. The hardest part of the season for the Brute Squad came when they had to say goodbye to Knuckle Baby as she moved to Boston for a new job.

Brute Squad Action From far left: Holly WallbangHer, DonT BeA Baby, Sin Ickle, and A. Moral work to hold the jammer from Reading  Photo credit: Andrew Keyes

Brute Squad Action
From far left: Holly WallbangHer, DonT BeA Baby, Sin Ickle, and A. Moral work to hold the jammer from Reading
Photo credit: Andrew Keyes

The Brandywine Roller Girls started in 2010 by a small group of skaters and non-skating officials with a home team structure and has grown to encompass a three-team travel system that competes at a national and even international level. None of which could be possible without the wizards behind the curtain. Our wizards are the production crew, the officiating crew (both skating and non), the fans and the sponsors. You are appreciated. Thank you for all that you do to make BRG what it is: a family of hard working, hard-playing people with one like-minded goal – WORLD DOMINATION THROUGH ROLLER DERBY.

Here’s to a season that took us places we never thought possible and best wishes for an even bigger season in 2015, cheers! See you on the flip side.