Last year’s Wild West Showdown was my first a lot of things. I’d only been on my league for 5 months and our home season hadn’t started yet. Actually, not only had I never played a bout, I hadn’t even seen one. So it was Rocky Mountain vs. Bellingham Roller Betties that popped my derby-watching cherry. I can’t say it wasn’t pretty because there were some truly inspiring moves, but it was a major kill. You know… Rocky Mountain kind of, um, rocks, but Bellingham is my team. Despite all the top shelf derby going on in the main pavilion, I spent most of my time on the challenge bout track. I had never been in a bout or skated with ladies outside my own league, so I was pretty stoked by all the encouragement and support demonstrated by perfect strangers. My first day, I believe I had already managed to get into 5 scrimmages when my coach gently reminded me that watching great derby would benefit me, as well.
Anyway. Here I am, in Bremerton one year later, a little less fresh and rostered on the travel team (Bellingham Roller Betties’ Blunt Force Trauma). We have some big goals. It mostly involves a lot of winning. So Friday night we kicked off the weekend with a game against Santa Cruz. First bout of the wild west weekend! I lived in Santa Cruz for several years before moving to Washington. It was difficult for me not to ask things like “What’s your real name? Did you work at The Bagelry? You look familiar from somewhere..”, but the pivot line is not really the place to figure out if your opponent dated your ex-girlfriend or if her crack head boyfriend stole your bike. So I left all that alone. It was a great game and I’m pleased to report we won (by a single point). I really can’t give an awesome account of what happened. Skating, talking on the bench and riding the emotional roller coaster of a close game does not lend itself to accurate, unbiased reporting. Hopefully experience will give me greater track vision in the future, and if not I can settle for watching the bout footage. Santa Cruz got what seemed like the majority of lead jammer status, but we made up for it with grand slams aplenty and concise pack work. We are a physical and defensive team, but could have widened the point spread with some better offense. You know, “help your jammer!!!”. Good times.
Saturday we got to skate against Sacred City Roller Girls from Sacramento, currently ranked #8 in the western region. Those girls are tight, and don’t do anything by accident! I didn’t skate much in that game. I’m the girl who gets pulled when there are skaters in the box and we seldom started a jam with a full pack. Penalties, penalties, penalties! In probably one of the most physical games we have played, we came within 20 points of them in the last 10 minutes but unraveled from there. We lost the game, but I think it was noted that Bellingham is a worthy adversary. Next time, Sacto, next time!
Overall I can say I’m leaving WWS just as inspired and eager as I did last year. The more I play the more I see what I need to improve on, and the more I watch the more my head is filled with fancy footwork and smart plays. I’m proud of my team this weekend and I look forward to the rigorous practices we have in our future. Our next big bad Blunt Force adventure will be the Dust Devil in Tuscon come April. Did I mention we plan on doing a lot of winning? I know some familiar teams are on the slate for that tournament, and many teams from outside our region. Hooray for Blunt Force Trauma! We are finally an actual travel team and we are going places!