If you weren’t tied to Derby News Network this afternoon, then you missed an amazing performance by Emerald City’s all-star team, the Skatesaphrenics. In Battle for the Coast, they faced four teams throughout the afternoon and evening in shortened 20 minute bouts, hoping to emerge as one of the top two teams in their bracket and advance to tomorrow’s finals.
In their first three games, the Skatesaphrenics demonstrated their incredibly strong defense, allowing only fourteen points by the Ventura County Derby Darlins, fifteen by the OC Roller Girls, and seven by SD Roller Derby. For ECRG a tight, defensive game is the standard mode of operation, so the control they maintained within the pack came as no surprise. What ensured their success, however, was their decision to dedicate at least one blocker to offense in the majority of the jams. ECRG jammers were looking for holes and found them thanks to some stellar, well-timed offensive hits.
ECRG’s last game of the day was against the toughest opponent playing in Battle for the Coast—Bay Area Derby (BAD), who are ranked sixth in the nation by DNN. While ECRG lost decidedly to BAD, they had some real successes as a team. Most impressively, ECRG skaters kept level heads despite a point deficit. They played a clean game and were able to execute a pretty tight defense despite the wrecking ball that is Demanda Riot, working her magic for Bay Area in the pack. ECRG demonstrated great teamwork; skaters were sticking together and were far more effective as a result. Nice work, Phrenics, and congratulations on advancing to the finals!
While all of the women on the Skatesaphrenics played outstanding games today, I would like to take a minute to acknowledge the awesome work of the members of the Flat Track Furies who played for the all-star team this weekend; this is the Snake Pit after all.
Blue Ruin: Blue is one of the unsung heroes in ECRG. She’s not very big but can hit and withstand hits like nobody’s business. Her greatest strength lies in her constant awareness; she knows where both jammers are as well as her blockers and can move agilely to get wherever she needs to be on the track.
Frankie Facebreaker: I may be biased because Frankie happens to be my wife, but I think she’s one of the best defensive players in the league. Having spent years jamming, she is lightening fast and can chase down the opposition before they even see her coming. She showed us this tonight, having a sweet hit on a BAD jammer, chasing her from a spot in the back of the pack, nailing her, and forcing her to call off the jam.
Burna Death: Burna has recently taken over the role of bench coach for ECRG. She did a hell of a job tonight, picking out the line-ups and making sure that her players stayed fresh enough to score some points against BAD. Burna is great at keeping the ladies on the bench calm, positive, and focused. Her positive energy was resonating throughout the team this evening.
Katarina Van Rotten: Can I hand out the award for most improved ECRG player right now? Rotten made the all-star team about a year ago and has quickly garnered a position as a first-string jammer, likely because she’s a juking machine. Her cheery demeanor off the track gives her the I’ll-never-give-up attitude that is crucial to great jammers. Rotten scored FOUR of ECRG’s points against Bay Area and countless others throughout the evening. All I have to say is… Suzy Hotrod, look out.
Emerald City 38
Ventura County 14
Emerald City 30
Orange County 15
Emerald City 53
Bay Area 70
Emerald City 7