BLISTERING START LEADS TO ALL-STARS’ 209-POINT WIN
by Muckety Muck, Derby News Network Contributing Writer – Photos by Bob Dunnell
(MEMPHIS, TN) For the Arch Rival Roller Girls’ All-Stars – the WFTDA’s North Central sixth-ranked team – a weekend roadtrip to the home of “The King of Rock-n-Roll” provided the perfect platform for a team that was looking to rebound after a loss to a lower-ranked squad last month.
As Elvis himself would say…”It’s Now or Never.”
Extremely rare is the case that a bout’s winning jam is determined less than four minutes in, but that’s precisely what happened as St. Louis’ best on quads notched a 238-29 victory at the Memphis Fairgrounds’ Pipkin Building in front of 300.
“Losing was not an option,” said ARRG All-Star blocker Party Foul after the bout. “This was their turf, this was their house, this was their floor and this was their crowd. It was really important for us to come back home with a win and it was really awesome that we did.”
The win improved the All-Stars record to 3-1 and eliminated seeds of doubt following their 53-point loss to North Central #9 Ohio on March 11.
“I think we needed a confidence booster,” Foul said. “A lot of us came back from the Ohio trip feeling a little confused because we did so well against (NC #8) Cincinnati the night before. A lot of us took the loss to Ohio really hard, so we needed to win this one.”
“We wanted to come into this game and prove that we could play better derby than that,” adds ARRG blocker Shimmy Hoffa. “It was a chance for us to really work on our teamwork and put it all back together again and start fresh.”
Little did anyone know how long – or in this case, short – it would take to claim victory.
Following a scoreless bout-opening jam, Black Market Baby posted a 30-point strike for Arch Rival at 26:30 to literally give the visitors the win.
Consider this. It took less time for ARRG to get the bout’s winning points over Memphis than it does to hear “Suspicious Minds” in its entirety.
“It’s always important for us to start with really high momentum,” said Hoffa of the fast sprint out of the gates. “We just wanted to get the game going and start putting points on the board. We started the game intense and wanted to maintain that intensity throughout the rest of the game.”
Following the 30-0 launch, Arch Rival proceeded with a baker’s dozen points unanswered. Downtown Dallis‘ four-pointer was followed by South City Shiner‘s five. Mighty Mighty Boston added another four to extend the lead to 43-0 at the 21:50 mark.
Memphis jammer Lil Cinner cracked open the goose egg with a two-point tally on the next jam, but St. Louis countered with another twelve straight to build a 55-2 lead midway through the period.
New Jersey Turndyke offered a glimmer of hope for Memphis by posting four with 14:50 left to cut the deficit to 55-6, but ARRG countered with another 22 points – capped by Boston 17-pointer – to stretch the lead to 77-6 with 12:00 left in the half.
Arch Rival racked up multiple double-digit jams as the period’s final third progressed. Dallis’ 14-point power jam at 8:15 was followed by South City Shiner’s 15-pointer, extending ARRG’s advantage to 110-8.
Boston posted another 18 deep in the frame to help Arch Rival stretch its lead to 128-12 at intermission.
The dominance in the second half would continue as the St. Louisans netted the first four jams of the second half, which resulted in a 46-0 run. Black Market Baby’s dozen, Dallis’ nine, Boston’s 18 and another five by BMB extended ARRG’s lead to 174-12 with 20:00 left.
The workhorses of the Arch Rival blocking schematic, paced by Foul, Hoffa, Chewblocka, Science Friction, Grave Danger, The Educator, May Require Stitches and a host of others, kept Memphis from barely breaking double digits in both halves.
“It provided a great safety net,” said Foul of her blocking sistren. “It gave us the chance to play the perfect derby that we could possibly play.”
A 26-0 ARRG run – punctuated by Shiner’s 18-point power jam with under six minutes left – extended the cushion to 230-20.
Outscoring Memphis 110-17 in the second half to collect the 209-point victory, four St. Louis jammers posted 40-plus points apiece in the bout, paced by Boston’s 68 followed by Black Market Baby’s 66.
“I saw things out of them tonight that I’ve never seen before,” said Chewblocka of the jamming quartet. “I saw a lot of aggression, a lot of tight footwork and I saw them seize a lot opportunities tonight.”
But don’t think that all was perfect in the assessment. Even though they held Memphis scoring to low numbers, ARRG’s internal constructive criticism still looks for cleaner play overall.
“We definitely ran into penalty issues near the end,” said Chewblocka. “Even though we were able to control situations when we had players in the penalty box, it would better to never have players in the box to begin with.”
“There’s still a lot that we need to work on,” agrees Hoffa. “We still need to work on our penalties and tighten up some of the things that Memphis took advantage of towards the end. They started figuring out or strategies and adjusting. When a team starts adjusting, we need to still play our strongest game.”
And this will be important as Arch Rival returns to WFTDA North Central region action on Saturday, May 5 against NC #13 Bleeding Heartland at Midwest Sports Hockey.
“The first of bouts of the season are there to gauge and see where your strengths and weaknesses lie,” says Hoffa. “We get to see what works and what needs to get fixed. It makes the team stronger and it gives us a chance to train ourselves for what’s coming up ahead.”
ARCH RIVAL (238) – Mighty Mighty Boston 68, Black Market Baby 66, South City Shiner 56, Downtown Dallis 48
MEMPHIS (29) – Muse of Bruise 11, Tenacious B 10, Lil Cinner 4, New Jersey Turndyke 4
COMING UP TOMORROW AT 8 AM FOR ARRG’s “30n30″: They shake their poms, hold their signs and cheer on the skaters of the league. One rides a tricycle and another totes a really large pirate’s head. They don’t skate on bout night, but their involvement adds to the color of roller derby in St. Louis. They also give back with fundraisers and support events. On Tuesday, we look at the ARRG Jeerleaders.
ARRG’s “30n30″ is a daily feature that examines different aspects of the Arch Rival Roller Girls – St. Louis’ first female flat-track roller derby franchise. In this section every morning at 8 AM for the entire month of April, a new feature will be presented.
Other installments of ARRG’s “30n30″: PRE-SERIES SET-UP (1) EVOLUTION (2) THE DREAM TO PLAY AT CHAIFETZ (3) LOCAL SEASON RECAP (4) ARRG ALL-STARS (5) SAINT LUNACHIX (6) ROOKIE RIVALS (7) REFEREES & NSOs (8) PRE-BOUT RITUALS (9) POST-BOUT RITUALS (10) GUERILLA UNCAGED – NO MINORS (11) ARRG VS. MEMPHIS PREVIEW (12) CHARITY (13) CHAIFETZ PUBLICITY (14) McWHEELY PHOTOGRAPHY (15) GUERILLA UNCAGED – DERBY NAMES