TEAMS RESTOCK & RELOAD FOR NOVEMBER 10 OPENER!
by Muckety Muck, ARRG Bout Co-Announcer
We’re quickly approaching a brand new local season of Arch Rival Roller Girls roller derby action!
Tickets are on sale right now for ARRG’s season opener at Midwest Sport Hockey on Saturday, November 10. Save online with advance tickets purchased at BROWN PAPER TICKETS by going to THIS LINK RIGHT HERE!
In November 10’s double header, we’ll see re-matches from last season’s local finale. In the opening bout, the Smashinistas face Rebel Skate Alliance in the season’s kickoff. That match-up will be immediately followed by the ongoing rivalry between the M-80s and the Stunt Devils.
Once again, all events in the 2012-13 ARRG local season features double headers. This guarantees that there will be plenty of action that is worth the price of admission…and then some.
And beginning this season, ARRG will locally experiment with a few modifications in game play – we’ll call them “house rules” – that will potentially give the derby you see an overall shot of octane. For starters, all minor penalties will be eliminated, meaning that there is the potential of fewer skaters being sent to “the penalty box” during jams. This will make things less restrictive for a team’s overall strategy and makes the sport easier to follow for you, the derby-lovin’ fan.
Also, all jams will start immediately after two short whistle blasts, which will release both competing jammers and the pack simultaneously, eliminating the need to stall by taking a knee and setting the tone for an adrenaline-fueled jam.
The ARRG 2012-13 intraleague calendar will consist of three regular season events, followed by a playoff round February 2, 2013. The results of the playoff round will set the tone for the 2013 ARRG Local Championships, scheduled for March 2, 2013.
All four squads bring plenty to the table and with victories on November 10, two teams make an initial hard charge in the standings.
Here’s a look at the four teams whose overall plan is to hoist the trophy next March:
THE M-80s – 2012 CHAMPIONS – LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 4-1
After being out of the title picture two years straight, the firecrackin’ legacy franchise of ARRG used the 2011-12 campaign to field one of its most balanced line-ups ever. It culminated in a dominating 188-139 victory over longtime rivals the Stunt Devils at Chaifetz Arena in April to claim the League’s top spot.
And although the taste of success was sweet for the red rollers, they immediately knew that they had made the conversion from the “hunters” to the “hunted” when the new season was set to commence.
If that pressure in and of itself wasn’t enough for the M-80s, the April retirements of veterans instrumental in the victorious season added weight to the team’s already heavy shoulders.
In short, the team must deliver the same precision that propelled them to the League’s championship hardware six months ago.
Major components of the championship squad return to defend the title. Veteran jammer Black Market Baby netted a League-high 316 points in five bouts last season and looks to pace the scoring again in the upcoming campaign. Seven-season vet EnYa Nightmare returns after notching up 226 points the season prior.
Multi-purpose threat May Require Stitches posted 105 points in her sophomore campaign while holding the opposition in check. Expect a lot of track time for the buzzsaw. Co-captain Rhino-Might looks to steamroll her way over the competition with impressive effect.
And if that wasn’t enough experience brought to the table, the M-80s dropped a bombshell at a recent supplemental draft to boost the offense. The franchise last month added jammer/blocker Julia Ghoulia, who spent four seasons with the Smashinistas from 2006-09, to the line-up. In her last fill-time tenure with the League, Ghoulia played blocker for the ARRG All-Stars for three consecutive seasons, beginning in 2006.
The wealth of veteran talent is impressive. But if there’s one key area to watch for in the 2012-13 makeup of the M-80s, it’s the talented crop of youngsters that infiltrate the roster.
Co-captain The Ginger Assassin will compliment the jamming rotation. She brings a solid portfolio to the table, with numerous bouts logged last season with both the Saint Lunachix and Fleur-De-Linquents travel squads. Rookie Ida The Living Dead impressed many in her rookie scrimmages and looks to send a message early.
Sophomore blocker The Sound of Violence will see more track time this season and incoming ARRG additions Spice Rack and Stray Touhell have years of experience collected with their time with the St. Chux Derby Chix. Kimical Burn, Winchester Witch and Molecular Mayhem round out the M-80s’ blocking battalion.
The defending champs have their work cut out for them in 2012-13. Expect the M-80s to defend their trophy with ruthless aggression.
THE STUNT DEVILS – 2012 SECOND PLACE – LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 4-1
Back-to-back second place finishes the last two seasons is enough incentive for the Stunt Devils in 2012-13. They didn’t like being the bridesmaids in the prior two title bouts. This season, the purple-clad rollers want to be the bride.
And who’s to say that they can’t do it, considering the wealth of experience that returns to the fold.
Co-captain Mighty Mighty Boston returns to a very solid jammer corps. The perennial All-Star paced her team’s scoring with 240 points last season. South City Shiner’s solid play resulted in 224 points while Morgan LeFaetal contributed 107. The trio provides a triple punch that will be hard to beat.
The Stunts’ blocking schema contains plenty of seasons played. Mayor Francis Slayer returns at pivot after logging her most minutes ever last season, including a bout in which she played in every jam competed. Co-captain and perennial All-Star Grave Danger brings her physical style to the flat-track effectively while Deathica Steele will show the hard-charging play that makes her a force to be reckoned with.
Blocking with be complimented by youngsters Biohazard Betty, Dollyrot N, Shacgyver, Toe-Stop Believin’, Hydrogen Bombshell and Vod KaKnockers, who all increased their minutes in bouts both internally and with the Saint Lunachix travel squad last season.
ARRG newcomers Arcane Sugar, who has prior experience with WFTDA North Central reps the Southern Illinois Roller Girls and the Twin City Derby Girls, and five-year derby vet Killer PAIN-guin, a transfer from the River Valley Roller Girls of Fort Smith, Arkansas, are additional pieces added to the Stunts’ puzzle this season.
This is a squad that ran roughshod over the other teams last season until a hiccup in 2012’s title bout kept them from hoisting hardware. They didn’t like the feelings experienced at Chaifetz in April.
This would definitely be the group to lead the Stunts back to the title picture…and perhaps League champions overall.
THE SMASHINISTAS – 2012 THIRD PLACE – LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 2-3
If there has ever been a team that has been on the cusp of greatness, it would be the camo-clad troopers. On paper, they’ve been the franchise that should have been in the title tilt the past few seasons, but due to League parity wasn’t.
Perhaps a foreshadowing was revealed at April’s third place bout, where the Smashies were unrelenting in a 120-point win. That opened eyes and sent a message to the League that they were going to have plenty of future firepower.
The fact that a majority of seasoned troopers return in 2012-13 gives the franchise plenty of promise.
Returning at jammer will be long-time ARRG vet The Educator, who collected 215 points in her 2012 campaign.
She’ll be joined by two hard-charging sophomores who impressed late last season. Brickyard posted 57 points in April’s third place tilt while Sly Davanita drew rave reviews in travel bouts with the Saint Lunachix over the summer.
Another potential jammer for the Smashies comes in the form of the recently-drafted Party Rockher, who transfers from the St. Chux Derby Chix.
The depth at jammer seems solid, but the key to a winning season might rest with the Smashie blocking battalion, which is as solid as it’s ever been. Co-captains Shimmy Hoffa and PolkaDot Yr’ Eyeout and ARRG All-Star veteran Eli Wallop return to their familiar spots in the line-up. Boom Boom Pow, Shell Shoxx, The Forecloser, Mali Bruz Barbie and Megalodominator compliment the schema. Overall, this is arguably ARRG’s best local line-up of blockers.
It’s been a while since we’ve projected the Smashinistas to win it all. Safe money says they’ll make a hard charge for the trophy this season.
REBEL SKATE ALLIANCE – 2012 FOURTH PLACE – LAST SEASON’S RECORD: 0-5
After finishing their 2011 inaugural campaign as League champions, the counter-clockwise collective experienced numerous setbacks last season. Although there was plenty of talent to be found, injuries and plain ol’ bad luck kept the team at the bottom of the hierarchy last season.
That won’t be the case in 2012-13. In fact, this team is poised to return to greatness.
Much like the other ARRG teams, there’s plenty of All-Star experience to be found in RSA. Party Foul and Smarty McFly bring years of top-notch derby knowledge to the table and can fulfill numerous needs, both offensively and defensively. Multi-positional veteran Chewblocka is also capable of “donning the star” and while pacing in the blocking schema.
The trio is complimented by a pair of talented jammers. Pink Diamond returns to the fold following an impressive rookie campaign that was beset by injury. RSA also added hard-charging ARRG rookie Spider Monkey, a two-year vet from the St. Chux Derby Chix, via a supplemental draft earlier this summer.
RSA’s roster is also boosted by athletes who are ready to intensify their game in 2012-13. Co-captains Ginny Beastley and The Oregon Betrayal will be focal points of the blocking battalion, while returning starters Eveready, Deuce Bomber, N’ Toss Ya, Beaster Bunny, Warpath O. Jen and Bertha Venus will keep opponents at bay.
Blockers Prof. Rumbledore, a multi-season skating official for the STL Gatekeepers, and Lady Macdeath, who came through ARRG’s developmental system, are set to impress in their rookie campaigns.
Altogether, there’s plenty to be excited about if you’re a fan of the Rollin’ Rebs. Expect this team to make a hard charge to March’s title bout.
In less than two weeks, you’ll see four high-caliber squads, each containing the balance of speed, power, agility, smarts and newfound enthusiasm that is essential to success.
So you might ask yourself prior to the season’s first whistle, “Who’s the favorite to win it all?”
Arguably, the answer would be “All of them.” It’s just too tough to call. And you’ll find out firsthand on opening night how badly each of these squads wants to win.
If you’re a returning fan of ARRG, we know you’ll love the action this season. And if you’re new to the sport, we’ll give you plenty of reasons why you’ll want to return as it progresses.
We’ll see you at Midwest Sport Hockey at ARRG’s season opening double header on Saturday, November 10.
NEXT MONDAY IN THE ARRG NEWSCENTER: Now that you know more about the four squads competing this season, let’s look specifically at what each squad needs to do specifically to grab a “W” on November 10. ARRG co-announcer Magilla Guerilla has been following all four squads during the off-season and brings his unbiased opinions to the table. Which team has the inside track on opening night? The season’s initial “Guerilla Uncaged” column previews the M-80s/Stunts and Smashies/RSA twin bill.
Muckety Muck 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 and information.