PLUS, LUNACHIX TUSSLE WITH ROLLERS FROM CHAMPAIGN!
by Muckety Muck, Derby News Network Contributing Writer – Photos by Bob Dunnell
When the 2012 Arch Rival Roller Girls’ travel calendar was first released last November, the specific date of Saturday, August 4 immediately contained an element of mystery.
Whereas other events scheduled throughout the season revealed opponents such as Madison, Bleeding Heartland and Chicago Outfit, August 4 had no specific opponent mentioned in ARRG’s early marketing campaign.
For the longest time, it was simply “All-Stars vs. TBD”…as in “to be determined.”
Little did ARRG know last November that this Saturday night would inevitably become the most anticipated interleague event in franchise history and create a genuine buzz across the national derby scene.
This Saturday night at Queeny Park, WFTDA North Central action is featured as the eighth-ranked ARRG All-Stars (9-2) face the region’s third-ranked squad, the Naptown Tornado Sirens (8-4) from Indianapolis, IN.
Prior to that bout, ARRG’s b-team, the Saint Lunachix (6-2), face the Twin City Derby Girls of Champaign/Urbana, IL (1-2).
The bouts take place at Midwest Sport Hockey (570 Weidman Rd., Ballwin, MO.) Doors for the event open at 6:30 pm and the action begins at 7 pm.
Tickets at the door on Saturday are $15 cash only for general admission. Children 10 and under get in free.
Save $3 on individual tickets purchased in advance by going to Brown Paper Tickets at THIS LINK RIGHT HERE.
Groups of 15 and more can save up to $5 on each ticket purchased in advance by going to THIS LINK RIGHT HERE.
This weekend’s doubleheader promises to completely deliver the reasons that we are all fans of this sport.
One of the most-talked about stories in derby circles has been the hard charge of the ARRG All-Stars in that past two months. Victories over North Central #4 Detroit and #5 Chicago Outfit, alongside wins over South Central #3 Nashville and #4 Houston, have made the Arch Rival All-Stars “ones to watch” in the WFTDA.
This Saturday night, the “pink and black attack” looks to notch another historical win to the ledger against another higher-ranked squad.
It’s a given that both league’s will get berths for the upcoming WFTDA North Central region playoffs, entitled “Thrill of the Spill,” in September in Niagara Falls, NY.
A win for the locals over the third-ranked Tornado Sirens will give ARRG a boost of momentum heading into the highly-competitive Fall tussle in the Empire State.
“We want to send a message before post-season,” says ARRG All-Star blocker The Educator. “We’re not going to worry about rankings. We’re just going to put our heads down and play hard.”
And “playing hard” has been the mantra for ARRG consistently this campaign. In their last appearance at Queeny Park in July, the local rollers utilized a 57-0 second-period rally to post a 191-100 win over the Chicago Outfit Syndicate, the region’s fifth-ranked league. The victory netted ARRG its third consecutive win over a higher-ranked squad in the WFTDA.
The jamming quartet of Mighty Mighty Boston, Downtown Dallis, Black Market Baby and South City Shiner paced the scoring for the victors, but the blocking schema of Eli Wallop, Science Friction, Party Foul, May Require Stitches, Grave Danger, Mayor Francis Slayer, Shimmy Hoffa, The Educator and Chewblocka collectively garnered “MVP” designation for the bout, as they provided the walls and openings for the jammers to score while simultaneously shutting down the opposition’s plan of attack.
If that last paragraph seemed a bit lengthy, it was for good reason. ARRG’s success thus far in 2012 has truly been a team effort. Hands down, this has been one of the league’s most cohesive units historically.
All the aforementioned athletes will be in the starting line-up on Saturday and all will undoubtedly put their best quad forward.
It’s gotta be that way, for the top-notch squad they face sports the initials N-R-G. It’s not only a league acronym…it also defines the catalyst of their style.
Naptown finished last year’s North Central region playoff with a third-place victory over Detroit to earn its first-ever trip to the WFTDA National Championships. And although they suffered a first-round loss to Philadelphia in the first round for the Hydra Cup, no one could deny Naptown’s monumental rise. After all, to earn a spot as one of the best twelve derby squads in the nation is nothing short of incredible. It was a spot well-deserved.
By advancing to a higher echelon in 2011, Naptown knew full well that its schedule was going to be extremely active this year. And although they’ve faced – and have beaten – some solid squads on the national derby scene, their lone pair of bouts thus far within the North Central region has resulted in losses.
Granted, the two setbacks were against the top two squads within the region. The Tornado Sirens fell to top-ranked Windy City 187-69 in March and stayed competitive in a 35-point loss to second-ranked Minnesota in May. The losses somewhat hurt but were understandable, considering the high-quality of opposition.
But if there has ever been a consistently competitive league in the North Central the past two seasons, Naptown certainly fits the bill. They’ve been a stable number three all season long.
And NRG’s “outside the region” wins against other nationally-recognized squads certainly adds a lot to the Tornado Sirens’ portfolio. The Tornado Sirens have wins over Steel City, Montreal, Boston and Dutchland – ranked fourth, sixth, seventh and ninth, respectively – in the WFTDA East. They also have victories over Atlanta and Tampa Bay, the teams respectively ranked fifth and sixth in the WFTDA South Central.
If there’s an apropos word to describe Naptown, it would be “balanced.” The sturdy set of skaters from the Circle City brings a line-up that is comparable to ARRG in terms of experience and physicality.
The forefront of the offense contains a very experienced group of veterans. Jammers Amooze Bouche, Maiden America and Blue Messiah are the primary focal points that “don the star.” The trio of wily veterans simultaneously brings great speed, power and presence to the offense. R.I.P. Tide and Piper Sonic supplement the Tornado Sirens’ jammer rotation.
The blocking layout of Naptown is just as fierce. Look for Ima Hurchu, Cereal Killer, Shadi Layne, Asian Sinsation and Enya Graves to battle the ARRG blockers continuously throughout the night.
Naptown historically has a 2-1 advantage in their series of bouts against ARRG. Arch Rival netted a 93-61 victory over the Tornado Sirens in March 2009. Naptown then won the next two, a 113-69 win at the North Central playoffs in 2010 and a 47-point win at home in February 2011.
In Saturday’s marquee match-up, two squads will be looking to send a message prior to post-season play at September’s WFTDA North Central region playoffs.
For Naptown, they wish to firmly establish their third-ranked classification and become one of the favorites regionally to nab a national championship berth. For ARRG, they wish to send notice that they will potentially shake up the playoff picture in six weeks.
After the final whistle blows this Saturday night, one team’s wishes will come true.
“it’s going to be really tough,” anticipates ARRG’s South City Shiner. “Naptown’s a really tough team. If we can beat them, then that would be really great for us.”
Although it may seem like a cliché, there arguably is a lot riding on the line in the main event.
And if there wasn’t enough drama and intrigue to whet a derby fan’s appetite, there’s plenty to satisfy one’s hunger in Saturday’s opening bout.
ARRG’s Saint Lunachix – the league’s b-team – has pounded out three victories in a row, including a 155-53 win over the Chicago Outfit’s Shade Brigade last month at Midwest Sport Hockey.
In that bout, the Chix posted an early 35-0 sprint to propel them to victory. Once again, the Chix implemented the strategy that has served them well in 2012: hit early and often and the rest will take care of itself.
Lunachix jammer EnYa Nightmare posted over 80 points to pace the locals in the win. Rhino-Might and Sly Davanita also collected strong numbers in the victory. The trio, alongside jammers Morgan LeFaetal and Brickyard, will look to net similar results this Saturday.
The faces familiar in the Chix blocking battalion also look to make an impact. Captain Boom Boom Pow, Ginny Beastly, Polkadot Yr’ Eyeout , Deathica Steele, Eveready, The Oregon Betrayal, Shell Shoxx, Hydrogen Bombshell and Arcane Sugar will provide the walls up front to let the scoring commence and limit the opposition.
Once again, the play has to be complete for the locals, for they are facing an “a-squad” that has grown by leaps and bounds in a short amount of time.
The Twin City Derby Girls are one of the latest additions to the WFTDA North Central region following an apprenticeship that began in July 2010. The hard work of the Central Illinoisans, combined with solid victories over comparable-skilled teams, gave them enough ammunition to vault from apprentice status to league affiliate without argument.
The squad are 1-2 in their WFTDA-sanctioned bouts thus far in 2012. Following a 48-point loss to North Central #18 Demolition City in April, TCDG posted a 198-55 win over North Central #29 CoMo Derby Dames in June.
This past Saturday, TCDG fell to North Central #21 Killamazoo 254-126.
TCDG’s Houchebag, Therafist and Tommy Knocker will see multiple rotations at jammer Saturday while Heidi Slice, Delta Badhand, Anthrobrawlogist, Terror Misu, Kimbuktu and Tyra Shanks pace the squad’s blocking.
Although they are relatively young as a franchise, they cannot be taken lightly. TCDG would love nothing more than to post a solid win over a larger-market franchise.
Saturday’s opener will be quite the match-up. Arriving early at Midwest Sport Hockey to grab a good seat should be your top priority.
And while you’re at Midwest Sport Hockey this weekend, you can take some sweet schwag home by participating in the final charity raffle of the season that benefits Safe Connections of St. Louis. Since last November, we’ve been raising proceeds at every home event. This final push will help ARRG’s goal of reaching $3,000 for the local non-for-profit. Prizes in the raffle drawing include ARRG merchandise, gift certificates from local businesses and other goodies. Raffle tickets will be on sale for $1 apiece or for a better value, and for a greater chance at winning, you can purchase six for $5.
After Saturday’s bouts, join us for the official ARRG post-bout after party, held at Sammy’s Beach Bar and Grill, located at Harrah’s Casino in Maryland Heights. You can meet your favorite athletes from the Arch Rival Roller Girls, the Naptown Tornado Sirens and the Twin City Derby Girls. Plus, some of the best casino action in the area is mere footsteps away. There’s no cover for the post-bout after party at Harrah’s. We hope to see you there!
It’s been a fun season for the local derby fan! And with your help, ARRG will go out in style this weekend prior to the post-season!
We’ll see you at Midwest Sport Hockey this Saturday night!
Go to ARRG’s official Facebook page for continuous updates throughout the week for late-breaking event information.
COMING UP NEXT MONDAY IN THE ARRG NEWSCENTER: We’ll see how the ARRG squads fared in Saturday’s doubleheader. Full bout recaps will be featured!