Long-standing Oakland fans know that defeat is fuel for the Oakland Outlaw’s fire, which will rage again in the 2016 season. After defeating their strongest challengers, the Berkeley Resistance, in August of 2015, the Outlaws looked like the easy pick to take the BAD home-team championship this past October. But, in a grueling second half, Berkeley proved the stronger team, landing Oakland as BAD’s second place team in 2015. Find out what is changing this season, and what Oakland’s prospects are for getting back on top!
2015 Home Record: 3-1, 2nd place
All-time League Record: 16-13
Losses: #8380 Hazel-Raw, #45 Colt, #320 Sheer Luxe, #8 Fatal Dreidel, #105 Strawberry Killz, # 243 Scratcher in the Eye
Additions: #72 Chop Ramen, #27 Red Card, #82 Brute E. Pie
When asked what has changed during the off-season, player-coaches, Val Hella and Huck Sinn are quick to point to Chop Ramen as a key addition to the Outlaw brigade. Chop started playing roller derby in the Seattle area as part of the Junior Roller Derby Association (JRDA) 2015 champions, the Seattle Derby Brats’ Galaxy Girls, and came to Oakland with five years of roller derby experience already. Her Oakland coaches tell us she’s a sturdy skater who will eventually mix into their jammer rotation.
When pressed for more information about which skaters would be likely to don the star Coach Huck Sinn was hesitant to offer too many hints. Based on 2015, it will come as no surprise to see 2015 rookie of the year, Dreadzilla, and veteran Vee as foundational to the Outlaw jammer crew. Also, look out for sturdy hybrid blockers, Ames to Maim, Esteemed Bun Bun, and team captain Dual Hitizen to take the star. When asked if Coach Sinn would be jamming, she replied with a wry grin, “It would nice if I could learn how to block this season.” It remains to be seen if Huck Sinn’s team will let her block or not — when stars align, you won’t want to miss it!
True to form, a few hard hitters will be missed this year. Despite having lost fewer skaters than some of BAD’s other home teams, Oakland coaches pointed out, “Yes, but Hazel left and she’s equal to about 9 blockers on her own.” Certainly, Hazel-Raw has left some huge skates to fill. Helping to bridge that gap will be 2016 rookies, Red Card and Brute E. Pie. Red Card honed her blocking skills and knowledge of the game as a part-time official and on the Reckless Rollers, BAD’s rec league, while Brute E. Pie transferred from the Peninsula Roller Girls.
“Our goal last year was to innovate and try out new strategies. Our goal this year is to really hone those new strategies and apply them during games.”
With Murderyn, fellow BAD All-Star Dual Hitizen, and veteran pivot, Jane Hammer, the Outlaws have strong anchors to their blocking corps. Oakland describes their defensive ambitions, “Our goal last year was to innovate and try out new strategies. Our goal this year is to really hone those new strategies and apply them during games.” With three formidable track leaders, the hybrid jammer-blockers, and returning blockers Val Hella, Bully Elliott, Mary Prankster, Bella Bomber and Imelda Snarkos, it will be tough for the other teams to find a chink in the Outlaws’ armor.
Oakland has already played an early game this year, helping the Humboldt Redwood Rollers open their season on January 30th. The Outlaws nailed the win, 280-75. “It enabled us to gel as a team, reassure ourselves that we still knew how to play derby after the off season and to bring new teammates into the fold,” says the captain, “We were able to execute strategy and test some new communication styles as well as have fun with our team given the low pressure of an away game.” That pressure will ratchet back up in March as the home season opens with the Outlaws facing a revamped ShEvil Dead team.
#410 Ames to Maim || #215 Bella Bomber || #82 Brute E. Pie || #5678 Bully Elliot || #72 Chop Ramen || #333 Dreadzilla || #29 Dual Hitizen || #42 Esteemed Bun Bun || #10 Huck Sinn || #63 Imelda Snarkos || #777 Jane Hammer || #64 Mary Prankster || #7 Murderyn Monroe || #27 Red Card || #40 Val Hella || #33 Vee