(22) OHIO WELCOMES (39) NASHVILLE IN SEASON OPENER
The 2013 season finally came to a close in early November for the Ohio Roller Girls. It was a season of focused determination that ultimately resulted in the OHRG’s first ever trip to the WFTDA Championship tournament. Twelve teams made it to Champs, and Ohio was the lowest seed (#21) ever to qualify under the current WFTDA rankings system. Every time Ohio set a goal this season, they accomplished that goal. They wanted to make it to the Division 1 playoffs, and they did. They wanted to finish in the top three at playoffs to secure a spot at Champs, and they did. They wanted to win a bout at Champs to prove they belonged, and they did.
Ohio defeated the Rat City Roller Girls 230-212 before falling to the eventual world champions, Gotham Girls Roller Derby. As successful as 2013 was for the Ohio Roller Girls, the skaters and coaches can’t rest on that success to carry them through the 2014 season. With the losses of powerhouses Phoenix Bunz and Pippi RipYourStockings, as well as coaches Great Scott and BFF to retirement, Ohio has apparently stuck to their “anyone, anywhere, anytime” mentality as they assembled their 2014 schedule. OHRG currently have fifteen bouts on the docket in 2014, with all but two opponents having played at a Division 1 tournament last season.
Ohio will kick off their 2014 season at home on March 8th at the Lausche Building. Given retirees Bunz and Pippi contributed both blocking and jamming duties, everyone will have to work a little harder. Versatile players Paige Bleed, Burnadeath, and Bigg Rigg will help fill the void as they have stepped up to play solely for the charter team. Not only will these three skaters add to Ohio’s blocking, but all three successfully donned the jammer star last season as well.
One new addition to the squad is Ena Flash, a transfer skater from the London Rollergirls (UK) and Glass City (Toledo). Ohio will look to her to fill in as a blocker and secure the front of the pack. Looking to keep their reputation as one of the best blocking crews in roller derby, veterans Amy Spears, Bratislava Bruiser, Lora “Outa My” Wayman, Jesse “Ava Tarr” Fox, and Zee “Loraine Acid” Gulertekin will anchor Ohio’s pack. Veteran skaters Kitty Liquorbottom, The Smacktivist, Paige Bleed, Bigg Rigg, and Burnadeath will more than likely share time on the jammer line.
Ohio’s opponents on March 8th will be the Nashville Rollergirls’ Music City All Stars. Nashville finished their 2013 season with a record of 5-6 and an 8th place finish at the Division 1 Playoff in Asheville, North Carolina. Their victories last season came against such teams as The Chicago Outfit, D.C. Rollergirls, Tallahassee, Gainesville, and Madison. Nashville suffered losses to Atlanta, Columbia, Cincinnati, Oklahoma Victory (twice), and Houston. The Music City All Stars have already started their 2014 campaign with a 50 point loss to Demolition City, 209-159, earlier this month, though the bout does not appear to have been WFTDA sanctioned.
Nashville stuck with a very formidable five-jammer rotation last season that featured Union Jack-U-Up, Four-Leaf Roller, Zip Drive, Britches N’Hose, and Ann T. Histamine. Union Jack-U-Up was recently named a member of Team England that will be competing in the 2014 Roller Derby World Cup in December. Their pack will be anchored by Union Jack-U-Up, Danny Doom, Hippy Ki-Yay, Electra Cal, and Tear O’Bite. Historically, Ohio and Nashville have only played each other once before. Back in April 2010, Nashville was victorious at home over the Ohio Roller Girls 166-43.
In the second bout of the afternoon, Ohio’s Gang Green will take on Nashville’s Music City Brawl Stars. Gang Green will feature returning skaters Ally McSqueal, Blitz Lemon, Kill Basa, Quiet Storm, TactiGal, Texas Chainsaw Sasskicker, and Sarah Bruce (formerly Pearl Rogi). New additions to Gang Green include three transfer skaters from the Cincinnati Rollergirls: Garden of Beatin’, SK8 Crime, and Hop Devil. These three skaters will join former Cincinnati teammate Pistol Whippin’ Wendy, who transferred to Ohio last season.
Gang Green finished 2013 with a 6-8 record, but played a much stronger schedule than in years past. With the core of their squad returning, plus the addition of new skaters, Gang Green will look to start their season with a “W” when they welcome the Brawl Stars. Nashville’s Brawl Stars have already played three bouts this season, posting a 2-1 record at the B-Cup tournament. They were victorious against the Toronto Bay Street Bruisers and the Minnesota Nice. Their loss came against the Dairyland Dolls’ B-Team (147-203).
Just a reminder that the Ohio Roller Girls All Star team will play first, at 5 pm, on Saturday, March 8th with the Gang Green bout to follow.