TWELVE MONTHS OF DERBY RECAPPED IN 3,300 WORDS!
by the Grand Poobah, ARRG Bout Co-Announcer – Photos by Bob Dunnell
Here at the ARRG Newscenter, we’ve never attempted to do a “Year in Review” column before.
The task seems daunting. After all, there was no true “off-season” this year for one of St. Louis’ hottest athletic franchises.
But perhaps that’s half the fun in compiling this reflection of the last twelve months. There is so much more to this league than just the scores on the flat-track.
With all aspects invested physically and mentally, the hard-working women (and men) of this league perpetually pushed its activity into full-throttle during 2011.
In short, it was business as usual.
A recap of the Arch Rival Roller Girls in 2011:
ARRG’s 2010-11 local season continued its whirlwind progression to kick off the new year. At the January 8 doubleheader at All-American Sports Mall, undefeated Rebel Skate Alliance utilized a 38-0 first-half run to pick up a 171-102 victory over the M-80s. The 70-point win netted RSA the top seed in the upcoming post-season playoff scramble. Smarty McFly scored 77 in the win for RSA while EnYa Nightmare clawed out 60 for the M-80s. In the nightcap, Downtown Dallis scored 49 points to help the Smashinistas gain a 93-73 victory over the defend champion Stunt Devils. The Smashies would earn the second seed with the 20-point win.
ARRG’s Saint Lunachix – the league’s traveling team of developmentals – picked up two road wins to start the first month of the calendar year. On January 9, the Chix hammered Springfield (MO) 286-67. Two weeks later, the Lunachix bested the CoMo Derby Dames 206-40 in Columbia, MO.
On January 15, ARRG held its third annual trivia night in Maplewood. Over 250 brainiacs competed in the multi-team, multi-round event that supported ARRG operational costs for the season. One lucky 50/50 drawing winner netted over $900 at the event.
Longtime local television producer/critic Aaron Mermelstein from St. Louis’ Higher Education Channel produced a feature on ARRG entitled “Heads of Skate.” The featured aired on HEC-TV and its website throughout the month.
ARRG made a return to the St. Louis Auto Show, held at America’s Center the weekend of January 28. Fans and first-timers were treated to multiple exhibition bouts as the weekend progressed. This marked ARRG’s second appearance with the yearly show, much to the dismay of your local KIA dealership.
For being one of the shortest months of the year, there was literally action on and off the flat-track perpetually in February.
The month saw the ARRG All-Stars – sporting a #11 ranking in the WFTDA North Central region – begin its 2011 campaign with a February 5 road trip to Indianapolis to face the Naptown Tornado Sirens, ranked sixth at the time of the match-up. In front of 3,500 at the Indianapolis Convention Center, St. Louis erased a 30-point first-half deficit and posted a 69-60 lead at intermission. The moral victory was short lived as Naptown pounded out power jam after power jam. A 92-38 second-half Naptown rebound handed ARRG a 152-105 season opening loss. Jammer South City Shiner topped ARRG scoring with 52 points.
Intraleague action continued on February 12 as ARRG began its two-event local playoff scramble at All-American Sports Mall in front of 1,000 fans. In first round action that featured re-matches from the prior month, top-seeded Rebel Skate Alliance topped the M-80s 146-99. The twin-attack of RSA’s McFly and Starry Starry Fight scored 64 and 58 points, respectively. In the other first round match-up, Dallis scored 53 points to pace the Smashinistas’ 87-58 victory over the Stunt Devils.
Media appearances continued for the league in February, including a front-page “Community” section feature in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as well as appearances on KMOV-TV’s “Extra Edition,” Charter Cable’s “SIUE Global Village” and “STL Sportszone.” League members also assisted in an on-air wedding proposal that took place during a live broadcast of “Fox 2 News at 5 pm” on KTVI-TV.
ARRG charitable efforts continued in February with appearances at Heat Up St. Louis, the 8th Annual Sports Trivia Championships, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake, the 2nd Annual Bethany Place Fashion Show and a fundraiser for Boy Scout Troop 777 of Wood River (IL).
The next round of the 2010-11 ARRG playoffs – held at All-American Sports Mall – saw the undefeated streak continue for the top seed while the remaining three squads scramble for an invite to the league’s championship bout. Rebel Skate Alliance cruised to April’s trophy bout with a 155-77 victory over the Smashinistas. Meanwhile, a bout-winning last jam by Artemischief helped the Stunt Devils best the M-80s 89-87 in the other playoff bracket. With identical playoff records of 1-1 for both the Smashies and the Stunts Devils in the post-season, a larger point differential from bouts played garnered the Stunts the other title bout berth.
The March 11 post-season doubleheader marked ARRG’s final event held at All-American, ending a five-year run at the venue.
The following weekend, the ARRG All-Stars logged the most miles ever traveled in one weekend with a trek to Colorado. On March 20, ARRG defeated WFTDA West Region #10 Pikes Peak 155-101 in Colorado Springs. The victory evened ARRG’s 2011 travel record to 1-1. During the weekend, the All-Stars also faced the B-teams from Western powerhouses Rocky Mountain and Denver, earning a split in the win/loss column.
Meanwhile back home, the Saint Lunachix rolled to 191-58 victory over the Rockford Rage to improve to 3-0.
ARRG was featured on “Spot TV St. Louis,” which aired on KDNL-TV throughout the month.
A new venue was the site of the 2010-11 ARRG local championships. Over 1,000 derby faithful packed Ballwin’s Midwest Sport Hockey on April 9 to witness a changing of the guard within the league. A 62-point lead at the half was enough to ensure a league championship for the expansion Rebel Skate Alliance. The 131-53 victory over the Stunt Devils concluded an unblemished six-win inaugural campaign. Starry Starry Fight finished with 47 points for RSA, while Party Foul and Smarty McFly added 43 and 41, respectively. Morgan LeFaetal paced the runner-up Stunts with 21 points.
In the league’s third place bout, rookie May Require Stitches scored 75 points to help the M-80s top the Smashinistas 127-107, which would be their one lone victory of the 2010-11 season. Downtown Dallis paced the fourth-place Smashinistas with 66 points.
The travel squads continued their respective journeys in the month, posting a pair of wins in the Hoosier State. On April 23 in Evansville, IN, the ARRG All-Stars picked up its first North Central victory of 2011 – and its second straight – in a 198-68 victory over Demolition City while the Saint Lunachix improved to 4-0 with a 101-49 win over DCRD’s Destruction Dames.
The ARRG Rookie Rivals – a developmental squad of unrostered ARRG skaters – began its 2011 campaign with a 75-40 loss to the CoMo Derby Dames Wreckoning Crew in Columbia, MO on April 24.
ARRG also participated with the inaugural intraleague season for the STLGatekeepers – St. Louis first mens’ roller derby franchise. Throughout the mens’ season, ARRG skaters competed in theme-oriented match-ups under various aliases. Exhibition bouts included battles between “Hoosiers vs. Hipsters” and “Cougars vs. Kittens.”
The ARRG All-Stars broke into the WFTDA North Central Top 10 as the month began, climbing one spot to reach the tenth position. In defense of the climb, the All-Stars hosted #11 Ohio at Midwest Sport Hockey on May 14. Down 49-40 at intermission, ARRG turned on the jets in the second half, outscoring the Buckeyes 107-20 in the second half en route to a 147-69 win. Downtown Dallis scored 61 for the locals, who improved to 3-1. In the doubleheader’s opener, ARRG’s Saint Lunachix saw its record receive its first blemish of the season in a 215-103 loss to Springfield (MO). Black Market Baby scored 45 for the Chix, who dropped to 4-1.
The following weekend, ARRG collectively put together its best “A/B” punch in league history, picking up four collective wins at the second installment of Midwest Brewhaha in Franklin, WI. The ARRG All-Stars, riding high off the Ohio victory, posted wins over a pair of solid North Central squads. On day one of the invitational, ARRG raced out to a 45-point halftime lead en route to a 129-72 upset victory over then-ranked #9 Chicago Outfit. Downtown Dallis paced ARRG with 55 points. The next day, the All-Stars staved off a tough challenge from #15 Burning River. Despite an early deficit, a shutdown by the blocking schematic helped ARRG prevail over Cleveland’s best, 149-87. Boston netted 60 in the win for the All-Stars, who finished Brewhaha 2-0 while netting its fifth straight win to improve to 5-1 overall.
For the ARRG developmentals, the brew tasted smooth as well. A pair of wins for the Saint Lunachix as they topped the Brewcity Battlestars 166-85 and Mad Rollin’ Dolls Team Unicorn 200-92. Munchausen by Foxy scored 60 and Morgan LeFatael scored 68 in the respective wins. The two-bout sweep improved the team’s record to 6-1.
Riding high on the success of the 2010-11 local season, ARRG was featured in the May cover story of St. Louis Sports Magazine.
The ARRG All-Stars continued their hard charge within the WFTDA North Central region on June 11 with a 181-40 win over #7 Northstar at Midwest Sport Hockey. The locals outscored the Supernovas 123-17 in the second half to pick up their sixth straight win. Mighty Mighty Boston stomped out 77 points and the blocking featured its most fluid work of the season. The attention-getting win over Northstar – supplemented by the overall region winning streak – helped ARRG steadily move up the North Central rankings ladder and positioned the squad into Derby News Network’s Top 25 Power Rankings for the first time since 2009.
Also at the June bout, the league presented a check to Girls’ Incorporated of St. Louis – ARRG’s charity partner for the 2010-11 season – for $2,200. The funds raised benefited the non-for-profit’s after school athletic and educational programs.
Off the flat-track during the month, the league raced for the cure, showed off its pride and grappled in gelatinous goop. On June 4, ARRG participated in the 13th Annual Komen Race for the Cure held in downtown St. Louis. The event drew over 66,000 participants and raised $3 million locally. The league, along with the STL Gatekeepers, skated in the 31st Annual Pride St. Louis Parade, held June 25 on Grand Avenue near Forest Park. The weekend event drew over 80,000 spectators. That same weekend, ARRG presented its most non-traditional fundraiser to date, a PG-rated “sports entertainment-style” jello wrestling event at FUBAR downtown. The monies raised helped ARRG travel expenses for the summer.
The Fourth of July weekend saw the ARRG Rookie Rivals pick up its first victory of the season in a 177-59 win in the inaugural bout of the Dark River Derby Coalition of Quincy, IL.
On the weekend of July 9, the three ARRG travel teams found themselves in the Windy City for a trifecta of bouts against the Chicago Outfit. In Saturday’s main event at Windy City Fieldhouse, the Syndicate avenged its May Brewhaha setback with a 164-104 whacking of the ARRG All-Stars. Lola Blow scored 73 points for the Syndicate, who stopped ARRG’s win streak at six with the victory. In the B-team opener, jammer Boom Boom Pow scored 66 points – all recorded in the second half – as ARRG’s Saint Lunachix topped the Outfit’s Shade Brigade 156-112. The next day, the ARRG Rookie Rivals scored its second win in as many weeks, besting the Chicago Outfit Shakedown 180-71.
Then on July 16, a stubborn blocking schematic helped the ARRG All-Stars get back on the winning track in a 137-59 home victory over North Central #14 Grand Raggidy at Midwest Sports Hockey. A 46-0 run to start the second half enabled ARRG to cruise to its seventh victory of the season. Mighty Mighty Boston picked up 63 points in the victory. In the doubleheader’s opener, the Saint Lunachix once again posted high numbers in a 205-49 victory over the Southern Illinois Roller Girls. Five different Chix scored double-digits in the winning onslaught, their fourth straight.
ARRG and the ARRG Jeerleaders presented the “Cheers to the Troops!” benefit at the South Broadway Athletic Club in Soulard on July 30. The event – featuring musicians, magicians, high-steppers, hula-hoopers, improve troupes…and burlesque – raised over $2,000 for the USO of Missouri, Inc.
ARRG travel teams split a pair of bouts in a cross-state road trip on August 13. The ARRG All-Stars fell to WFTDA South Central powerhouse Kansas City 146-80 in front of 2,000 at Municipal Auditorium. KCRW raced out to a 60-point lead at intermission to keep ARRG at bay. Kelley Young collected 55 points for Kansas City, who would go on to finish fourth at the WFTDA Championships later in the year. ARRG was paced by Mighty Mighty Boston’s 45 points. In the opener, ARRG’s Saint Lunachix picked up its ninth win of the season with a 130-103 victory over KCRW’s Plan B.
One week later, multiple benchmarks were broken as the ARRG All-Stars jettisoned North Central #16 Sioux Falls 287-18 at Midwest Sport Hockey. ARRG set records for most points scored, fewest points allowed and margin of victory en route to its eighth victory of the season. A 97-0 first half scoring run set the tone in the match-up. Three different skaters posted over 70 points for All-Stars, which finished undefeated at home (4-0) in 2011.
Smashinistas and All-Star jammer Downtown Dallis is recognized nationally by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association as its “Featured Skater of the Month.”
On September 9 at Midwest Sport Hockey, ARRG hosted “Stop, Drop and Roller Derby,” a benefit for the West County EMS and Fire Protection District. The doubleheader night of derby action was highlighted by a competitive battle between ARRG’s Saint Lunachix and the St. Chux Derby Chix of St. Charles County. A 46-0 late first-half rally helped propel the Lunachix to a 138-98 win over SCDC. EnYa Nightmare scored 55 points for the Lunachix, who finished their 2011 campaign with a record of 10-1. G. I. Jamie collected 56 for SCDC, who one month later would achieve Apprentice Membership status into the WFTDA. 100% of the proceeds from “Stop, Drop and Roller Derby” went directly to the West County EMS and Fire Protection District.
The ARRG Rookie Rivals finished their 2011 campaign with a 2-2 record following a 173-48 setback to the St. Chux Derby Chix Hells Belles on September 24 in St. Peters.
The ARRG All-Stars – now ranked eighth in the WFTDA North Central Region – returned to Indianapolis for “Monumental Mayhem,” the region’s post-season playoff on October 7. ARRG kicked off the Friday morning session with a 116-113 heart-stopping win over #9 Chicago Outfit in a bout that was determined on the final jam. Later in the day, the locals fell to top-seeded Windy City 200-82 and were sent into the consolation bracket. ARRG rebounded on Saturday with a 137-98 upset over #5 Cincinnati to advance to the fifth place bout. Donning “Gary F’n Sinise” jerseys for their rematch against Chicago Outfit on Sunday, ARRG was bested by the Syndicate 153-113 to finish sixth in the region. Overall, ARRG (10-5) finished five ranking positions higher in the North Central region from its January launch.
RSA Supreme Commander and ARRG All-Star Chewblocka is recognized as “2010-11 ARRG League MVP” at the annual awards ceremony on October 22. Also picking up awards were Mayor Francis Slayer (All-Stars MVP), May Require Stitches (Rookie of the Year) and Downtown Dallis (Local Season Fan Favorite). Over 40 awards were presented at “Blood, Bath and Beyond” to recognize the on-and-off-the-track efforts of league skaters and personnel in 2011.
ARRG released its 2011-12 season schedule which included the listing of the 2012 local league championships, to be held at St. Louis University’s Chaifetz Arena on April 28, 2012. The local finale marks the first time that ARRG will hold a local championship within the City of St. Louis.
On November 5, the 2011-12 local season kicked off at Midwest Sport Hockey with an impressive display by two of ARRG’s legacy squads. Paced by Artemischief’s 46 points, the Stunt Devils topped defending champs RSA 122-77. Newcomer Pink Diamond topped RSA scoring with 31 points. Meanwhile, EnYa Nightmare posted 76 points – 30 collected off of one power jam – to help the M-80s best the Smashinistas 159-133. Downtown Dallis scored 49 for the Smashies.
ARRG continued its community outreach efforts in the month with clean-up efforts at the Forest Park Forever Honeysuckle Removal Project and for MODOT’s Adopt-A-Highway Program. The league also participated in the 2nd Annual Safe Connections Young Professionals Trivia Night and Art Attack, a benefit for KDHX radio.
Stunt Devils’ veteran and ARRG multi-year All-Star Grave Danger was featured as one of the “Top Singles of 2011″ in the November issue of St. Louis Magazine.
Fans witnessed arguably the best double-header night of action in league history with a pair of knock-down drag-out bouts at Midwest Sport Hockey. With a 25-point power jam scored by Artemischief on the bout’s final jam, the Stunt Devils jumped into the standings lead with a 136-132 come-from-behind win over the M-80s. Munchausen by Foxy and EnYa Nightmare posted over 40 each to lead the M-80s in scoring. In the opener, a strong second-half scoring surge propelled the Smashinistas to a 123-102 win over RSA. The Educator posted 48 points to lead Smashie scoring while Stabby McCutcha collected 36 in a newfound jammer’s role.
Also at the December bout, a collaboration of efforts raised close to $1,400 in one night for a pair of local non-for-profits. Thanks to skater and team donations, matching contributions, a donation from a local Lions’ Club and raffle participation by the fans, ARRG nation raised close to $1,200 for Safe Connections, the league’s charity partner for the season. $200 was also raised for Touchpoint Autism Services with the sale of XMAS ornaments created by league members.
The final weeks of the calendar year saw the league recognized nationally by the derby community with a pair of nominations in the annual Derby News Network’s Reader’s Choice Awards. The ARRG All-Stars were finalist for “Most Improved Team of 2011″ and its four-bout series against the Chicago Outfit was a finalist for “Best Rivalry of 2011″ category. Results for the year-end awards were being tabulated as of press time.
And there you have it….
Of course, this summation only highlights certain aspects of the league’s activities in the past calendar year. Keep in mind its involvement in the continuing development of derby of St. Louis goes well beyond what was listed here.
When one takes into consideration the planning, preparation and execution of all these items, one can see that involvement for those participating with the Arch Rival Roller Girls was truly a 24/7 effort in 2011.
In short it was a busy year…and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
For you – the ever-loving derby fan – we thank you for your patronage and support of the Arch Rival Roller Girls in 2011. We enjoyed the ride the last twelve months… and hopefully you did, too.
We look forward to the upcoming year and the treasures they bring. After all, isn’t the journey half the fun?
The Grand Poobah and Magilla Guerilla are bout co-announcers for the Arch Rival Roller Girls. Check back in this section on Mondays for the latest in ARRG news/information.