OHIO ROLLER DERBY BLASTS INTO THIRTEENTH SEASON
After a lengthy off-season spent rebuilding the charter roster and overhauling strategies, Ohio Roller Derby kicked off their 2018 competitive season with a packed home doubleheader against North Star Roller Derby (Minneapolis, MN).
(47) OHIO ALL STARS ROCKET PAST (62) NORTH STAR SUPERNOVAS, 223-111
The sheer number of CT skaters who stepped down since the end of the 2017 competitive season – seven total, some temporarily, some permanently – led to preseason speculation about the stability of the Ohio roster going into a rebuilding year. Never a team to back down from a challenge, the All Stars took the departure of four of their top-scoring jammers in stride, and on March 17th showed Columbus that not only is their jammer pool as deep as ever, but that they’re already well on their way to a strong, cohesive squad.
Ohio opted for an aggressive start, nabbing lead jammer status in each of the first three jams. In jam 4, Bigg Rigg evaded a rear North Star defense to escape the pack first; with offensive assistance from Paige Bleed and Kelsey Khaos on scoring passes, she easily doubled Ohio’s score for a 23-3 lead while the North Star pivot-turned-jammer left the track on a forearm penalty. The Supernovas picked up their first shutout jam for a 4-point gain, but as penalties became a struggle, they gave up a crucial power jam in jam 6 that quickly snowballed into a formidable lead for Ohio. Veteran jammer Kitty Liquorbottom returned to the track to post a 10-0 advance, capitalizing on a back block call to Scarlet Raven and subsequent power jam; a second penalty at the end of the jam provided a power start for Bigg Rigg, who ran through a chaotic pack for a 19-point shutout while Amy Spears and KloverKill forced the North Star jammer into a third penalty. Pain Train pushed Ohio to a 70-10 advantage, spinning into lead status on one toe stop as Betty T. KayO, Kitty Liquorbottom, and Zee “Loraine Acid” Gulertekin held Katarina Hit on an initial pass for two full laps around the track. In her first jam on the charter roster, second-year skater Jessica Rabid snagged lead and 4 points to hold North Star to a fifth scoreless jam. While the Minnesota crew found success with single-scoring-pass jams when they had lead jammer status, those opportunities were few as Ohio obtained lead status in 15 out of 21 jams in the first period. BrussKnuckles and Pain Train continued to gather handfuls of points in shutout jams; with under five minutes in the period, consecutive back block and low block penalties assessed to the North Star jammer gave Bigg Rigg two full minutes to dip under their blockers for her third double-digit gain. A 4-3 pack advantage for North Star in the last jam of the half seemed promising, but Pain Train played defense with her wall until Kelsey Khaos returned from the penalty box, then sprinted away for lead status. Undeterred by a barrage of offensive hits, Gulertekin oozed around opponents to hold KiLLRoy with Kitty Liquorbottom, while Pain Train pushed Ohio over the century mark for a solid 109-22 lead at halftime.
After matching points over the first few jams of the second period, Bigg Rigg grabbed lead and tore around the track for 28 unmatched points on six scoring passes, clearing the pack with an apex jump. Despite dangerously high penalties and a foul out on their bench in jam 27, North Star briefly picked up momentum, outscoring Ohio 20-11 over the next three jams. An official review proved enough of a reset for the All Stars to push ahead once more, with a late-jam penalty assessed to jammer Annaconda providing time for an 11-5 pickup by Pain Train with offensive assistance from Kruel-Aid and Betty T. KayO. Taking advantage of confusion following a penalty whistle, BrussKnuckles slid through the pack to snatch up lead status and raced away for 19 points, boosting Ohio to a 186-51 lead just over halfway through the period. The Supernovas capitalized on Ohio jammer penalties in the next two jams, but a track cut call on their own jammer after 30 seconds of grinding defense offered Pain Train a chance to post an 18-0 result in jam 34 that pushed the home squad over 200 points. North Star attempted one last press, fighting for every point against Vyles and Paige Bleed on a 28-11 run that settled their total at 111 with just under 2 minutes remaining in the game. A penalty and near-immediate jam call for injury gave North Star a power start to the final jam, but strong defense by TactiGal and Sarah Sexton allowed BrussKnuckles to take lead status for 4 more points and a 223-111 victory for Ohio.
MVPs for Ohio were Bigg Rigg (jammer) and Kelsey Khaos (blocker).
MVPs for North Star were Scarlet Raven (jammer) and Salty Maude (blocker).
Unofficial lead status gain, jamming, and scoring for Ohio were: Bigg Rigg (5-9, 77 pts.); Pain Train (8-11, 63 pts.); BrussKnuckles (7-10, 49 pts.); Kitty Liquorbottom (1-3, 14 pts.); TactiGal (1-2, 5 pts.); Zee “Loraine Acid” Gulertekin (0-1, 0 pts.); and Betty T. KayO (0-2 [star passes], 0 pts.). Ohio obtained lead jammer status in 24 out of 39 jams.
Unofficial lead status gain, jamming, and scoring for North Star were: JacKILLope (3-6, 43 pts.); ShE.Coli (6-10, 36 pts.); Scarlet Raven (1-9, 16 pts.); KiLLRoy (0-5 [4 star passes], 12 pts.); The Fawkes (1-3 [1 star pass], 3 pts.); Annaconda (1-6, 1 pt.); and Katarina Hit (0-5, 0 pts.).
GANG GREEN DIMMED BY THE NORTHERN LIGHTS, 198-181
A mix of seasoned B-team skaters and rookies making their debut represented OHRD’s Gang Green as they battled the North Star Northern Lights. With a handful of skaters on each team pulling double duty and packs running fast, exhaustion became a factor late in the game, but a very narrow North Star lead for the majority of the game motivated an endless surge of attacks by Gang Green and kept crowd enthusiasm high throughout.
Although the Northern Lights saw more success in obtaining lead jammer status – 62% of jams in the first period, and 55% of total jams – swift-footed jamming by Gang Green created an early 8-1 lead over the first three jams. North Star fired back with four subsequent single-pass jams, shutting out the Ohio jammers while harvesting 16 points. Breaking the dry spell, TactiGal outran Henni Brawlins 6-4; rookie transfer Belle A. Trix snagged the first lead jammer designation for Gang Green in eight jams and tied points with Amanita. With a packed penalty bench, Gang Green fielded Vyles as the sole blocker to start jam 11, but managed to hold the Northern Lights to a 6-point gain. A team time-out gave skaters a moment to catch their breath and enough of a reset for jammers Belle A. Trix and Jessica Rabid to push Gang Green within 10 points of the Minnesota lead, 24-34. TactiGal looked to continue the upswing, snapping up lead, but penalties to both jammers forced a two-minute jam that saw Kegel Scout, Sarah Sexton, KloverKill, and Kruel-Aid executing coordinated offense in between defending. Growing blocker penalties left Gang Green at a pack disadvantage for several jams, though Lawless impeded a lead Northern Lights jammer long enough for rookie Fearrari to sneak out of the pack ahead of her and force a 0-0 call off. With six minutes remaining in the half, North Star held a 25-point lead, but Jessica Rabid lead the surge to close that gap with 8 uncontested points. Exploiting a 4-2 pack advantage and a power start, Jane Goodfall hit the Northern Lights defense with speed to find lead and 15 points with offensive help from fellow rookies Lara Del Rage and Just Jane. Belle A. Trix looked to upend the lead to close out the half, grabbing lead on a power jam, but a sneaky pass by the North Star jammer held Gang Green at a 75-78 deficit.
Strategy adjustments at halftime set Gang Green up for success from the first whistle as TactiGal toed her way up the inside line to steal lead and boost the Ohio squad to an 89-82 lead. The Northern Lights climbed back on top two jams later during 90 seconds of power jam play, but Birch Slap, Vyles, and KloverKill locked down their jammer in spite of heavy offense. Keeping their feet moving rapidly, Gang Green jammers stole quick points and forced early call offs over the next eight minutes of play. A strong tripod detained Giraffic Jam while TactiGal sped through four scoring passes to boost Gang Green to 118 points, just 9 points shy of retaking the lead. The Northern Lights wedged the gap back open with a 15-0 jam, but Gang Green immediately took advantage of a back block call on Nikk of Time to post their own 12-0 gain. With roughly ten minutes on the clock, Jessica Rabid muscled her way through a two-minute jam to scoop up 21 points and bring the score to 151-157. A string of blocker penalties affecting both teams allowed a 16-36 increase in favor of the Northern Lights; undeterred, Gang Green aimed to seal the comeback through point denial and single-scoring-pass jams while Vyles, HardKore Lena, and KloverKill stymied the Minnesota jammer. A final team time-out allowed jammers a momentary respite with just over a minute to play, but Gang Green was unable to fully close the 16-point gap in the final jam, ending with a 4-5 run and a 181-198 loss.
MVPs for Gang Green were Belle A. Trix (jammer) and Kruel-Aid (blocker).
MVPs for the Northern Lights were Amanita (jammer) and Haute Mess (blocker).
Unofficial lead status gain, jamming, and scoring for Gang Green were: TactiGal (7-15, 68 pts.); Belle A. Trix (6-12, 50 pts.); Jessica Rabid (2-9, 39 pts.); Jane Goodfall (2-3, 21 pts.); Fearrari (1-3, 3 pts.); Birch Slap (1-4, 0 pts.); and Just Jane (0-1, 0 pts.).
Unofficial lead status gain, jamming, and scoring for the Northern Lights were: Amanita (10-15, 103 pts.); Henni Brawlins (7-12, 54 pts.); Nikk of Time (7-15, 32 pts.); Annaconda (0-1, 9 pts.); and Giraffic Jam (2-4, 0 pts.).
Photo by Joshua Morrison.