Yesterday was so amazing!!! I came away with so many lessons learned! Wow, was I ever schooled!!!!
But enough with the overuse of exclamation marks.
Saturday the Medicine Hat Gas City Rollers hosted Flat Track Strikes Back; an invitational derby scrimmage. This is where derby girls from all over Canada can register to play and teams are made up from them.
Initially, there was to be three games; rookie, intermediate and advanced. But due to the fact registration was a little low, the rookie game was cancelled and it became a rookie/intermediate game.
Naturally, this struck a little fear in my heart.
If you’ve ever seen video of a rookie game, it’s usually slower with not a lot of hitting. So you can imagine how intimidated myself and my Deathbridge gals were with our first-ever game being above the rookie level.
But first I have to say, HUGE shout out to Shananigans and Maude LoBrowski for volunteering to play in the advanced game because they were short on players. How freaking brave is that?????
Teams were broken up into Jedi Knights (my team!) and the Dark Side, with two advanced players playing coaches. Other Deathbridge gals on the Knights was Lil Von Schtopp and Kranibal Lechter. Dames on the Dark Side included Maude LoBrowski, Half Pint Havoc, Shananigans, Fisti Fetish and Rebbles Flintstone.
Other gals on my team (from memory, hope I get them all) included Maiden Sane from Regina, Painful Passion, Marilyn Monroadkill, Hooten Annie, Holly Mackerel from Medicine Hat… I’m missing 3 more, likely Calgary girls. I will update once I get a copy of the roster.
Being a new team, I was curious how we would find our groove. Our coach (I really wish I could remember her name) was really good at delegating our shifts and giving blockers and jammers tasks to focus on during each jam.
My primary role was jammer; but I went out and blocked a couple times as gals needed a breather. I was really disappointed in my blocking and felt I was just a useless body. My hits were miss-timed and I wasn’t helping much.
But jamming was SO MUCH FUN!!! I managed to get lead jam (first one to break out of the pack) more often than not and I was able to haul some serious ass around the track; so much so that the crowd took notice and I was getting ‘talked’ about (or so I was told).
Although I had my share of issues. Hesitating while in the pack caused me to get into some pretty epic collisions. I’d see a gal coming at me and I’d have to make a quick decision to weave, slow down, speed up or counter hit. The times I didn’t make that decision fast enough, I was sent flying. (Weeeeeeeeee!)
Three stand out in my mind… My first major hit was courtesy of Coach Maude, who nailed me and helped me break in my new kneepads.
The second one that stands out is one where I went flying into the audience. I landed into the shins of two guys who complemented the hit then literally helped me onto my feet! (Such gentlemen!)
The third one was taking a hit, but managing to bring down my hitter AND a ref in the process! (Whoop! Whoop!)
Our team beat the Dark Side by about 100 points, thanks to the amazing skill of our blockers and MVP jammer Maiden Sane. This gal is crazy fast and I’m sure she was responsible for over half our points. She was my hero.
Our blockers were so amazing too. I felt so protected going into a pack, when I called for help, I got it and they were so great at shutting down the other jammer.
I had a first half to be proud of. I felt I scored lots and didn’t penalty once. The second half was another story… I got 3 (I think) penalties while jamming and I was getting tired. I think I was jamming every 3rd time, which didn’t leave a lot of room for rest. My skating started getting sloppy and I was getting hit a lot. But in the end it worked out great because I now know where my weaknesses lie and can improve on them…
1) faster thinking within the pack
2) being more aggressive as a jammer and taking blockers out before they get me
3) getting more stable to receive pushes
Yah… That number 3 point… More than once a teammate would push me with all their strength, which would send me flying out of control and eventually falling. I don’t weigh much; I don’t need a lot of force to make me move. I should have communicated that to my girls up front but I also need to learn to shift my weight to handle those forceful pushes too.
And number 4… As Meat Grinder drill sergeant for our team, I thought I was in good shape. I was able to do okay and my coach was forgiving if I asked to sit an extra jam out, but I’d really like to work up my stamina to be able to jam every second round… or close to that.
At the end of the scrimmage, there were hugs all around between both teams. I’m so fucking proud of our ladies!!!! Considering we didn’t start practicing until this spring, we have come a very, very long way.
I don’t think I’ve ever smelled so funky either lol.
The derby after party was filled with mingling, laughter, karaoke, beer and pizza. It was nice to be able to talk to some advanced players and also fun to receive complements from others.
As for injuries, I came out okay! My knee, which was still bruised and sore from last week, held up well thanks to new knee pads and an extra knee brace from Kran. (But it’s a little swollen this morning) My right thigh has a lovely fishnet burn and my left elbow is bloodied and a little swollen. I’m a little sore in my neck and shoulders, but that doesn’t surprise me.
I’m also happy to report there were no major injuries in either game! AKA the medics were never needed.
Special shout out to Desiree, who volunteered to run our merch table and took the bout pics!!! You’re the best!
Today I’ll be uploading pics to Facebook. Friend me on there if you haven’t already! Search for Cherri Blaster. And join our team’s Facebook page too if you like… search for Deathbridge Derby Dames.
We will be emailed the game stats, so once they become available, I will post!
Thanks to everyone for the derby support! You’re the best!!!!