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.

End of Season Bout Recap (Home): Brawlers vs Garden State Rollergirls

The air temperature may have been freezing in Caln on Sunday, November 17th, but the track was HOT! This was thanks to the  who continued their winning streak with a victory against Garden State’s Brick City Bruisers. Ultra Shear-her started off the game just like most all of the other Brawlers’ games this year, by picking up the first points. PhloxUup followed suit with the help of some fabulous blocking by Rontanamo Bay, Holly 905546_732511743497739_1642862431959024899_oWallbangHer, DonT BeA Baby and Emma D JennaRat. For a minute it looked like the Brawlers were going to skate away early in the first half but a big blow came when Emma D. JennaRat went out early with what we later found out to be a torn ACL. She did some damage before the injury however, by sending the jammer into the suicide seats in turn two.

Ronton seemed to have cloned herself as she was flawlessly moving between offensive and defensive blocking. Working against power blockers MRSA LA, BangHer and VALociraptor, the Garden State jammers didn’t have a chance. Even on a power jam, the Garden State jammer only managed to score 1 point. On the other hand Shear-her made it look like a day at the races racking up 19 points on her own power jam. It was all Brawlers the first half until about 10 minutes to go when the revolving door opened up in the penalty box. Garden State was suddenly back in the game. But Ballerinka Barbie and Ronton had other ideas as the pair held the Garden State jammer to 0 points during a power jam. DonT BeA baby laid out the jammer taking us to half time with only 4 points separation, 70-66 BRG on top.

Shear-her started off the second half with a power jam. Ballerinka was a one woman show10368865_732512846830962_3253631645269016614_o most of the second half as she held jammers back all by her lonesome. However Garden State just would not let up. The moment it looked like the Brawlers would break loose, Garden State would make another run. The jams were short and to the point the second half, with jammers gaining lead and calling it after one pass. Garden State started to rack up some penalties allowing BRG to finally gain a comfortable lead. But just like the rest of the game, Garden State was never really out of it. Final score 179 – 136 BRG.

MVP BRG
Blocker: Rontanamo Bay
Jammer: Ultra Shear-her
MVP Garden State
Blocker: Toni Soprano
Jammer: Voldeloxx

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Photos courtesy of Andrew Keyes

Bout Recap (Home): Brute Squad vs Dutchland Crush

Domination, team-work, communication –these are a few of my favorite things. And these are also the words that come to mind in the ’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 DSC_0133.jpgbreakfast, 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 5DSC_0256.jpg 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.

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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.

Photos courtesy of Andrew Keyes

WFTDA Division 2 Playoff Fundraiser

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?

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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!