Hello fans of the best sport on earth! My name is Rex Blocker, and over the next few weeks I’m going to provide some season previews of each of the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls home teams as we ramp up to our season-opening double-header March 1st at the beautiful Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, CA! The hope is that this will give you a little more insight into the teams and a little more knowledge of what you’re watching as the season unfolds; not so much how the game is played, but who’s playing it.
We’ll start with one of the teams playing in the first bout on March 1st: the newest team in the league, the fiercest skaters in pink, the Berkeley Resistance. I talked to co-captain, #45, Dolly Rocket.
Berkeley Resistance Season Preview
2013 Record: 0-3
All-time League Record: 2-8
Key Roster Losses: Aunti Christ, Psychoserapissed, Chick Norris, Charmean, Flaming Hips.
Key Roster Additions: none
2013 was a tough year for the Berkeley Resistance. Though they went 4-0 on road trips to such far-flung places as Sonora, San Diego, and Humboldt, within the league they weren’t able to make it into the win column losing all three home bouts by an average of 57 points – close in the derby world. So they come into the new season with something to prove after “under-performing” last season, as Dolly Rocket put it. Without any major additions from last winter’s draft, Berkeley is hoping to cultivate the talent they already have. They don’t yet have a set jammer rotation, though in early practices they’ve been working #1Par La Chica Mala, #14 Roofio, #19 Steely Jan, #888 Brawllen Angel in with Dolly Rocket. “We are switching things around a bit from last year and trying to specialize our players so that a few people aren’t trying to play two different positions within the span of the game, like last season,” Dolly explains.
Defensively, though, everyone will get in on the game. When asked for a go-to pack, or a defensive player to whom the Resistance would look for a much-needed stop, Dolly replied, “We are training every blocker on our team to be a versatile play-maker.”
Overall, Berkeley is admittedly a less experienced team but that doesn’t worry the captain. “The newer girls on our team are really hungry and focused and will be super solid as the season progresses,” she said. “They want it, they really do. I think the best thing a team could ask for is a hard-working group of versatile skaters willing to commit to each other, which is what we have on Berkeley.”
Bench coach Nate will keep the line-ups in order, but one thing Dolly stresses is that there’s a spirit of support and community throughout the team, that leadership doesn’t just come from the top down. When asked about the team’s strength she pointed to the team’s focus, in particular, focusing on what each skater can control. “We believe our ability to focus and stay task oriented in tough situations will help pull us through some difficult games.”
Dolly will be wearing the Captain’s C along with #6 Kristi Yamagotcha. “Our main goal this season above all else is to cultivate a positive, welcoming and supportive culture within our team.”
The women of the Resistance recognize that this is a tough league from top to bottom. Most games are at least competitive, if not close, and the season can be a grind, especially with more trips around California to play non-league games. So how ARE they feeling? What are their goals for the season? What matchup are they looking forward to the most? With an off-season spent, in part, team-building in #1950 Stoodie Baker’s hot tub, Berkeley are feeling confident. “Everyone is in good spirits and looking forward to playing some tough games this season to showcase our team’s talents,” says Dolly. “We’re ready to face anyone, anytime.”