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.
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.”