This Saturday, Ohio Roller Derby dives head first into their 2017 season with a home opener against heated rivals, the Naptown Roller Derby Tornado Sirens (Indianapolis). Ohio and Naptown’s rivalry goes back nearly a decade with Naptown holding a 4-3 advantage in sanctioned play. However, the Tornado Sirens don’t have the last laugh when it comes to this rivalry. Just last month, in Indianapolis, Ohio was able to defeat Naptown in front of their home crowd by a mere two points in an unsanctioned bout. With multiple lead changes in the second half, Ohio fielded recent transfer skater Pain Train on the jammer line who was able to get past two Naptown blockers. In the meanwhile, Chainsaw, Lora “Outa My” Wayman, Betty T. KayO, and Kelsey Khaos held back the Tornado Siren jammer for the game ending call-off for Ohio.
Both squads finished their 2016 season by earning trips to the WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs, although they were at different locations. Ohio went 1-3 at the Madison, Wisconsin, playoff location and finished in 9th place after defeating No Coast (Lincoln, NE) in their final bout of the weekend. Naptown played three tough opponents in Rat City (Seattle), Queen City (Buffalo), and Arizona, losing all three to finish 10th. Ohio will play No Coast again later this month at the Skate To Thrill tournament in Missouri, then will travel to Queen City later this season.
Ohio’s roster has changed quite a bit since last season, with the retirements of The Smacktivist and Burnadeath. KloverKill is still mending an injury sustained at last year’s playoffs and has taken a role with the coaching staff until cleared to play again. Coming out of retirement and lacing their skates for Ohio once again are Amy Spears and Ena Flash. Ohio has also been fortunate to receive transfer skaters Pain Train and Kelsey Khaos, both of whom saw considerable playing time against Naptown last month. Pain Train hails from Dayton, Ohio, where she played for Gem City, and Kelsey transferred from Central Ohio Roller Derby (Mt. Vernon). Although she saw her first bit of action for Ohio at last year’s playoffs, Ithaca transfer Gorges Curves is set to make a splash as a regular in the OHRD jammer rotation as well.
Naptown’s roster remains as strong as ever with Maiden America, Scorpiopathic, and Cherry-oto-Fire solidifying the top of the Tornado Siren jamming rotation. Naptown was without Maiden America’s services last month as she was nursing an injury, but she is ready to go this weekend and can carry the load for the Tornado Sirens if need be. Shiva Diva anchors Naptown’s defense in the pack and won Most Valuable Blocker at last month’s unsanctioned bout.
Come down to the Ohio Expo Center and support your Ohio Roller Derby as they roll into their twelfth season of competitive roller derby action. You can still get tickets online and at the door, but the home opener is traditionally a sell-out so get your tickets early. Ticket information can be found here: http://ohiorollerderby.com/tickets/
Photo by Aaron Knirk