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6/25 Bout Recap: Richmond Wrecking Belles vs San Francisco Shevil Dead

Saturday night saw a rematch between the two teams who played for third at the end of 2015. Last October, the Richmond Wrecking Belles won the battle for third despite the San Francisco ShEvil Dead coming in with a victory in their previous meeting in August. Fans of both teams knew this game could go either way. Though Richmond won in their last match-up, the Belles were coming into the game with a very short roster of 11 skaters with ShEvil determined to reclaim a victory.

As expected, the game started with an intense and contentious shift. Richmond jammer #20 Eva Menace nabbed lead in the first jam but was sent to the box during her scoring pass which allowed ShEvil’s jammer, #212 Xpress Lane Jane, to pick up some points as well. At the end of the first two minutes, the score was 14 – 10 in Richmond’s favor. In the next jam, #22 Jirsa attempted to drive up the score for Richmond and was awarded 15 points. Meanwhile, ShEvil pivot, #29 Spiller, received a star pass from #89 Mean Burrito and was able to pick up 9 points of her own, putting the score at 29 – 19 Richmond. After an exciting and close start, Richmond took control in the third jam and didn’t look back. Over the next twelve jams, Richmond was awarded lead jammer status ten times which allowed them to steadily put up points and keep ShEvil to just 7 points by strategically calling off jams. In the fourteenth jam, Jirsa put her team solidly in the lead by scoring 19 unanswered points in a power jam against Mean Burrito, putting the score at 81 – 27. But the Zombies would not be thwarted so easily. ShEvil retaliated by tightening their defense and received an offensive boost of their own when #61 Pressure Cooker scored 13 points in one jam. At halftime, the score stood at 108 – 60 with Richmond in the lead.

Credit: IGP Photo
Credit: IGP Photo

The second half started just like the first with both teams scoring at a similar pace. In the first five jams, Richmond managed to score 10 points while ShEvil picked up 9, which did little to change the score differential. Although Pressure Cooker had another 13 point jam, Richmond jammers #11 Lex Pistol and #925 Sterling Archer both had a couple of multiple scoring pass jams, padding their lead at 172 – 98. A little more than halfway through the second period, Richmond ran into some penalty trouble when Sterling Archer received three penalties as a jammer, which spanned a period of two jams and resulted in her fouling out of the game. Here, ShEvil pulled out all the stops and made a valiant effort to close the point spread. However, Richmond’s formidable defense forced a jammer cut on Pressure Cooker, and after returning to the track, she passed the star to pivot Sweet Sherry Pie who picked up four points. The next jam began with a power start for Gori Spelling, who took the opportunity to rack up a grand slam. As time ran down on the game clock, Richmond claimed the win with a score of 181 – 115.

The highest scoring jammer by far for ShEvil was All-Stars team member Pressure Cooker. With 60 points, she scored more than half the total points for her team. Xpress Lane Jane was the second highest ShEvil scorer with 23 points in thirteen jams.

Richmond employed an interesting tactic for this game by rostering two hybrid players who split jamming duties between the halves. For the first half, blocker Jirsa wore the star and in the second half she switched places with Sterling Archer. Jirsa scored 48 points in seven jams, making her the highest point scorer for Richmond. Eva Menace was the second highest scoring jammer with 46 points in 13 jams. 

Credit: Juan Montalvo
Credit: Juan Montalvo

Richmond’s win was decided by their overwhelming lead jammer percentage. ShEvil combated this by frequently passing the star, which they did seven times compared to Richmond’s two times. ShEvil struggled initially with penalties. In the first half, they were boxed 21 times but they cleaned up considerably in the second half of the game with just 14 penalties. Richmond’s penalties were consistent throughout the game with 13 in the first half and 15 in the second. With both teams having the same number of jammer penalties, the game really came down to the ability to rack up points slowly with consistent lead jammer calls and smart, timely call-offs.

Both teams are slated to play in the next double header on July 23, just weeks after this battle. ShEvil will take on the reigning 2015 BAD Champions, the Berkeley Resistance, and Richmond will play their longtime rivals, the Oakland Outlaws.

 

2016 Season Previews: Richmond Wrecking Belles

Richmond ended the last season 1-3, their only win being the final game of the 2015 season. By emphasizing teamwork and unity – a theme that will be reflected in both lineups as well as strategy – the Richmond Wrecking Belles are looking to improve their record in 2016.

2015 Record: 1-3, 3rd place

All-time League Record: 21-7

Losses: #140 Abominatrix, #11 Angel Maker, #238 Baron von Punchausen, #10 Thin Lizzy, #T2 T-Wrecks

Additions: #44 BamBam Booty Slam, Brooklyn Defiance, #4 Mad 4 Gravy

Photo credit: IGP Photo
Photo credit: IGP Photo

For long-time Belles fans, this season’s roster will look a little different. Abominatrix, Thin Lizzy, and T-Wrecks retired from the team at the end of last season and while their absence will shake up the jammer rotation and blocking line-up, returning players – blockers and jammers alike – will still be tough enough to fight off their opponents.

“This season we’re changing up or our bench structure, which makes our jammer line more fluid,” coach Skatelyn said.

All-Star jammers, Eva Menace and Skrappie, return with up-and-comer Snide Boob hot on their wheels. “They are all looking fiercer than ever,” Skatelyn added.

The Belles’ blocker line is adjusting to some early-season injuries that have rendered All-Star pivot/jammer Demanda Riot, newcomer Brooklyn Defiance, and returning member, Chiquita Bonanza, sidelined for an undetermined amount of time.

Notable blockers and new to the All-Star team this year, Sterling Archer and Biggie Brawls, along with Team Gold member Mad 4 Gravy (a mid-2015 addition to the Belles from Silicon Valley Roller Girls) will join long-standing veterans Jirsa (formerly Little Miss Masochist), Kutya Cackoff, Liza Machete and Skatelyn in holding down the Belles’ defense. A few of the aforementioned skaters will also don the pivot and maybe even receive the star pass this season!

BamBam Booty Slam, a transfer from the Undead Bettys, has been seamlessly absorbing the team’s track presence as a new blocker for the Belles.

Overall, the focus for the Belles this year is cohesion. Players are continuously honing their roles. According to Skatelyn, “Sterling Archer is our strongest on-track communicator, with her confidence in strategy quickly growing, she has been a great blocker QB [quarter-back] this season.”

And newbies are showing early promise, Skatelyn added, noting the team’s newest draft picks “all have strong skills with even greater potential for growth.”

“All have strong skills with even greater potential for growth.”

Prepped for a great season, Richmond will take on the Berkeley Resistance in the first home team double header of the season on March 26 at 7:00 pm.


 #44 BamBam Booty Slam || #77 Biggie Brawls || Brooklyn Defiance || #323 Chiquita Bonanza || #000 Demanda Riot || #13 Dita de los Muertos || #23 Diva Negativa || #20 Eva Menace || #2 Kutya Cackoff || #22 Jirsa || #1 Liza Machete || #4 Mad 4 Gravy || #36 Skatelyn || #5 Skrappie || #8 Snide Boob || #925 Sterling Archer || #512 Val Curry

The 2015 Season Starts NOW!!

In exactly one week, all four home teams for the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls will take the track at The Craneway Pavilion for the first double header of the 2015 season. In what can only be described as a much-anticipated rematch of the 2014 Championship, The San Francisco ShEvil Dead will once again face The Berkeley Resistance in game one, and The Oakland Outlaws will battle The Richmond Wrecking Belles in game two.

B.A.D.’s very own Rex Blocker sat down with the team coaches, and over the next week, we’ll be introducing you to the teams, featuring interviews and key roster changes, and sharing the drive, heart and passion of your favorite B.A.D. skaters.  First up, The ShEvil Dead.

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After finishing nearly every season in the league Championship game, The San Francisco ShEvil Dead started the 2014 season with two huge holes in the jammer rotation and the loss of a formidable blocker from the pack due to a number of skaters withdrawing from home team play to focus their efforts on the All-Star team. Rebuilding was the name of the game. While San Francisco went winless in league play for the first time since 2009, they did find ways to fill those holes, and eked out wins against some non-league opposition, including taking two out of three in the Shore Shots Round Robin tournament in Los Angeles.

And now 2015 dawns, with still more losses among the zombie ranks. I talked to coach Miss Moxxxie about all the feelings from 2014, and what the Dead will be doing to return to form.


San Francisco ShEvil Dead

2014 Record: 0-4, fourth place

All-time League Record: 7-18

Key losses: #318 Mae K. Haste, #360 Trixie Pixie, #52 Kid Ace, #616 Silver Foxxy, #713 Sherlock Home Slice

Key additions: #55 Bobby Dazzler


Longtime fans of the Bay Area Derby Girls know the San Francisco ShEvil Dead as the league’s most venerable, consistent team. Several All-Stars have skated in green; the team has won and lost, but has always been in it at the end. They’ve shown poise and a bit of brute force, and have always had a loud and loyal fan base.

So last year had to be a bit trying, as so many freshly Dead skaters figured out on the fly how to work together to own the track. There was a lot of exuberance, though, and smiles on the skaters’ faces, and as coach Moxxxie says, there were “feelings. Lots of them.” The Dead may have had trouble getting past Richmond, Oakland, and Berkeley, but that didn’t seem to dampen their spirits. They’re Dead, not down.

2015 brings another round of roster losses, however, as five zombies from last season have retired, including All-Stars #52 Kid Ace (who’ll stay on as a non-skating coach) and #713 Sherlock Home Slice. Also gone are jammers #318 Mae K. Haste (who will still serve the league as a non-skating official) and long-time veteran #360 Trixie Pixie, and blocker #616 Silver Foxxy. They’ve regained the services, however, of jammer/blocker hybrid #55 Bobby Dazzler, back from Australia.

“We are starting the season with only two skaters with all-star experience on our roster.  This means we will be working hard to get the rest of the team up to speed, and quickly!”  Coach Moxxxie

But Moxxxie is confident. “Some of the newer Dead are looking pretty great,” she says. The jammer rotation is expected to depend on some of the more experienced skaters, including #89 Mean Burrito and #212 Xpress Lane Jane. For the packs, “we turn to our veteran skaters to lead this charge. #47 Kimfectious, #0 Slaybia Majora, and #140 Nurse Lithium are our pivots, the vocal backbone of the team.” Kimfectious and Lithium will also be sharing the on-track Captain duties this season.

Still in a rebuilding mode, Moxxxie isn’t looking towards any one bout, or for any specific result for the 2015 season. Asked which bout she was looking forward to, she was diplomatic. “Every bout when our team exhibits focus, precision, intensity, communication and calm.” She added, “We plan to play our game.”

That game will rely, as always with ShEvil, on small, wily jammers, mixed in with a little power every now and again. As for defense, it looks like San Francisco won’t be aiming for the blockbuster hit to exert control over the pack. In a discussion about the team’s heaviest hitter, Moxxxie wasn’t about to single anyone out: “We have a handful, but are working more on our controlled, positional game.”

But as Yogi Berra allegedly said, “Ninety percent of this game is half mental,” and ShEvil are working on that aspect, too.

“ShEvil’s team goal for this season is to work on our mental toughness.” 

It’s not all work with this team, however, not when they have a tradition to uphold of the most blood-spattered, outlandish team photo session in all of roller derby. Moxxxie described it as “a sticky, hilarious, fake-blood-filled blast,” and one that went a long way towards team building.

Any time a team is coming off a winless season, it is an uphill battle, but several experienced skaters from other leagues joined B.A.D. this off-season, forming a deep pool of draftable skaters from which Moxxxie can select. “We’re very excited about a number of transfers,” she says. “Lots of great prospects!”

Early returns do show an improvement in the ShEvil Dead, despite a 29-point scrimmage loss to Shasta early on. Other teams are watching how ShEvil will grow and change this season, and feel confident the team will come back as strong as ever, with their howling fans behind them. And what will Moxxxie point to as a sign the team is back among B.A.D.’s elite? “If our team can collectively improve upon and exhibit that mental toughness,” she says, “this will be a great season.”