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Ohio Roller Derby 2020 Season Preview

UPDATE 3/13/20: In an effort to do our part to mitigate the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus, and to follow the guidelines set forth by Governor Dewine to cancel or postpone mass gatherings, we have postponed our season opener at the Ohio Expo Center. Read about it here. After an intense interleague schedule culminating in a repeat appearance at the North America East Continental Cup, Ohio Roller Derby prioritized fun, rest, and recovery in late 2019. The league played two themed mixed-level games and then packed the stands for the annual Skatemare Before Christmas exhibition event. In January, skaters returned to strength training and skating fundamentals, ramping up for another season of exciting competition at all levels. Celebrating their fifteenth anniversary this year, Ohio returns to their home track at the Ohio Expo Center from mid-March through the end of June. While last season brought a handful of retirements and an influx of fresh skaters, the 2020 All Stars roster remains largely unchanged from the 2019 postseason. Captained by Amy Spears, Kelsey Khaos, and Vyles, veteran players Betty Me-Owww (formerly Betty T. KayO), Bigg Rigg, Birch Slap, BrussKnuckles, Catch Mikachu, Chainsaw, and KloverKill also return. A strong core of experienced crossover

OHIO TOPPLES STEEL CITY

Hitting the road together for the first time in 2019, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars and Gang Green hopped across the Ohio River to Pittsburgh for a pair of scrappy, hard-fought games against longtime opponents Steel City Roller Derby, scratching out late-game victories in both matchups. ALL STARS SQUEAK PAST STEEL HURTIN’, 181-167 Unceasing back-and-forth battle and a total of ten lead changes kept both teams on their toes for the entire sixty minutes of gameplay, but the final moments saw Ohio narrowly edging out their opponents. Catch Mikachu nicked the first point of the contest; two lead changes followed in as many jams, with Jane, Literally squeezing out of the pack for a 9-0 gain as a Steel Hurtin’ blocker picked up the first pack penalty. After swapping scoring passes for several minutes, Banana Jamma tied the score at 18-all despite strong triangulation from the Ohio defense; River Kyx then tipped the scales in favor of the home squad. Belle A. Trix took full advantage of a two-minute jam, edging through on toe stops for 8 points, but the Hurtin’ retaliated with back-to-back shutout jams, exploiting a depleted Ohio wall to widen their lead to 31-60. A team timeout allowed the

MIXED RESULTS FOR OHIO AGAINST NEIGHBORING GEM CITY

In their first matchups in recent memory, Ohio and Gem City faced off in two fierce battles that resulted in one win and one loss for each league. ALL STARS EDGED OUT BY PURPLE REIGN, 118-134 Aggressive from the opening whistle and only building in intensity, the charter game saw both teams fighting to find and maintain the narrowest of leads throughout both periods, and was ultimately determined in the final minutes of play. The All Stars jumped onto the scoreboard with a 4-0 inaugural jam, but the Purple Reign quickly answered with two consecutive shutout jams, causing the first lead change in jam 3. Speedy packs minimized Gem City gains in the early minutes of the period, and Ohio jammers took advantage of holes left by their opponents to race away from the defense and force early call offs. While unsuccessful in their request for an illegal contact penalty assessment to the Reign jammer at the end of jam 8, the brief lull in action allowed the All Stars to reset; BrussKnuckles pulled off the first double-digit scoring run in jam 10, sprinting up the inside for a 15-4 gain and flipping Ohio into the lead, 25-24. Gem City fired back in

OHIO NARROWLY SILENCED BY ROC CITY

Barrelling full steam ahead into the season, Ohio Roller Derby hosted Roc City Roller Derby (Rochester, NY) for two incredibly close-scoring games that each saw numerous lead changes and outcomes determined in the closing minutes. (66) OHIO UPSET BY (71) ROC CITY IN NAILBITER, 156-171 Meeting for the first time since 2016, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars and the Roc City Roc Stars fought for every point in a back-and-forth battle, with neither team managing to accumulate a sizeable lead. Six jams ending in a tied score, seven lead changes, and nine jams with matched scoring passes kept all 30 skaters on their toes while fans in attendance steadily raised the volume in the Ohio Building throughout the game. Fast pack speed in the first handful of jams minimized gains on both sides, but a star pass to Betty T. KayO helped Ohio capitalize on the first power jam opportunity in jam 6 and take an 18-14 lead. After the All Stars controlled the clock for three consecutive jams, Florence Fightingale picked up lead jammer status for Roc City in jam 11, but massive hits by Pain Train stalled her progress; meanwhile, Chainsaw took a star pass and hustled through the pack

OHIO DEBUTS PROMISING START TO FOURTEENTH SEASON

Returning once more to their home track after a long off-season, Ohio Roller Derby welcomed perennial adversaries Toronto Roller Derby to Columbus, playing two action-packed games for a nearly sold-out crowd. (64) OHIO BREAKS (58) TORONTO WIN STREAK, 150-121 Aiming to both maintain a perfect record against Toronto and disrupt their 13-game win streak, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars rolled with multiple lead changes in the first half before tightening defense, committing to a core veteran jammer rotation, and denying points in crucial moments to secure their victory. Both teams spent the first few jams feeling out one another’s defense, swapping a scant handful of points. A penalty on the Toronto jammer allowed Catch Mikachu to make the first bold move for Ohio and pick up 12 points in jam 6; Toronto responded with back-to-back shutout power jams, posting 24 points for the first lead change of the game. Quick offense helped BrussKnuckles to snag lead and a quick 4 points, but momentum ground to a near halt in jam 11 as Bigg Rigg and Monster Muffin each fought immovable walls. Mikachu swung the momentum back in Ohio’s favor with a second lead change, posting a 13-0 gain while the home defense

(64) Ohio Kicks Off Season 14 with International Match Against (58) Toronto

Prepared both mentally and physically for a jam-packed schedule this year, Ohio Roller Derby will launch their fourteenth season on Saturday, March 23rd against familiar Canadian contenders (58) Toronto Roller Derby (Toronto, ON, CA). Ohio will look to improve on their 4-0 record over the All-Stars, having bested them annually from 2012-2015 on home and away tracks as well as in tournament play. The two teams may potentially rematch more than once later in the season, as both have been accepted to the Put Up Your Toques and Midwest BrewHaHa tournaments in May and June. Toronto put in steady work to climb the WFTDA rankings in 2018, ultimately going 12-0 and very narrowly missing a postseason invitation to the North America East Continental Cup. Retaining a large veteran squad, Toronto will try to build on their previous success, beginning with the trip to Columbus. In addition to stacking games over tournament weekends, they will also take on Boston Roller Derby and Royal City Roller Derby in April. The inevitable rebuilding year last season brought new challenges and resulted in a 4-8 season, but ultimately helped set Ohio up for greater cohesion this year. When unable to achieve overwhelming victories, as against North Star

Ohio Roller Derby 2019 Season Preview

After a postseason trip to the North America East Continental Cup last August and a fun-filled season of intraleague play that culminated in the revival of the fan-favorite Skatemare Before Christmas game, Ohio Roller Derby enjoyed a well-deserved off-season. Now, with renewed minds and increased strength, they return once more to their home track at the Ohio Expo Center in 2019, gearing up for their fourteenth year of competition against old rivals and new challengers alike. Twelve skaters from the 2018 playoffs roster return to the All Stars roster this season: Amy Spears (captain), Betty T. KayO, Bigg Rigg, Birch Slap, BrussKnuckles, Kelsey Khaos, KloverKill, Pain Train, and Vyles, as well as crossover skaters Belle A. Trix, Smash Panda (formerly known as Jane Goodfall), and TactiGal. After spending last season coaching, Chainsaw rejoins the pack, and recent transfer Catch Mikachu will provide additional versatility in the jammer pool. New to All Stars but certainly not to the track, Baby Kakes, Jane, Literally, Lara Del Rage, Jonny No, and Oxford Coma join in pulling double duty for both the A and B squads. Already retaining a solid veteran core, Gang Green welcomes a robust rookie class and a few additional transfer skaters

OHIO HANGS TOUGH AGAINST CHARLOTTESVILLE

Rolling into the second half of their home season, Ohio Roller Derby welcomed Charlottesville Derby Dames (Charlottesville, VA) for an evening of exciting, closely-contested derby action on May 12th. (51) OHIO FALLS SHORT AGAINST (42) CHARLOTTESVILLE, 108 - 165 The All Star game showed itself as a battle of grinding defense early in the first period, with both sides denying any significant point gain and hovering within easy striking distance through halftime. Fighting to establish an initial advantage, BrussKnuckles posted the first four points in jam two, but a power jam for Charlottesville permitted a 5-0 gain and the first of five lead changes. Bigg Rigg flipped the balance in jam four, eking out two points before three lead jammer calls in a row allowed the Virginia squad to retake the lead and begin building on it. Held scoreless for four jams, Ohio offered Charlottesville similar treatment with quick call offs, and jam eleven brought progress to a halt as both jammers spent two full minutes fighting tenacious defense without ever completing their initial passes. While Betty T. KayO forced Gemmatron out of bounds and back to the rear of the pack, Bigg Rigg slipped out to snag lead status and twelve unanswered

OHIO SERVES UP SWEEPING VICTORIES AGAINST WEST VIRGINIA AND SOUTH BEND

Never a team to grow discouraged over falling short in a challenging game, Ohio Roller Derby took their recent loss in stride and came out swinging in game three against first-time opponents West Virginia Roller Derby, as did Gang Green against South Bend Roller Girls. (47) OHIO DOMINATES IN DEFENSE AGAINST (91) WEST VIRGINIA, 355-82 Intense defense, 73% lead jammer status, and nine double-digit shutout jams allowed Ohio to steadily build a lead that quickly proved insurmountable for a short-rostered West Virginia. West Virginia drew first blood, snagging lead and a quick 4 points; Ohio retaliated by frustrating their jammer on a never-ending initial pass while BrussKnuckles posted a 15-0 jam. Three jams later, West Virginia looked to capitalize on a 4-1 pack advantage, but Betty T. KayO locked onto Dae-O Reckoning on her own, allowing BrussKnuckles to grab lead status and 19 uncontested points, widening Ohio’s lead to 41-8 after 8 minutes of play. While her blockers continued to shut down scoring, Jessica Rabid demolished defense and pulled in 14 points. A few brief, fruitless jams and an official timeout didn’t slow the home momentum: while Towanda Woman fought to gain traction on a slick track, Paige Bleed dropped back to execute

TOUGH HOME TRACK LOSSES TO ANN ARBOR

Continuing their home season endeavor, Ohio Roller Derby returned to the track to tackle Ann Arbor Roller Derby (Ann Arbor, MI) on Saturday, April 7th. (47) OHIO ALL STARS STRUGGLE TO HOLD (41) ANN ARBOR BRAWLSTARS, 97-274 The highly anticipated rematch between the closely-ranked teams was slated to be one of the toughest games on Ohio’s schedule, and a short roster proved an extra hurdle, but the home team remained positive and determined to play their best together. A forearm penalty assessed to the Ann Arbor jammer in the first minute of the game allowed Pain Train to post the first 5 points for Ohio and maintain a narrow lead until jam four, when an 18-0 run catapulted the Brawlstars to a lead they would continue to hold. Taking advantage of strong pivots Kitty Liquorbottom and Betty T. KayO, Ohio employed star passes to eke out quick scoring passes and stay within striking distance. While the Michigan squad looked to expand their 45-15 lead on a power jam, Zee “Loraine Acid” Gulertekin frustrated their jammer for the full thirty seconds before forcing her into a penalty; Pain Train hustled through the pack for 6 points while Jesse “Ava Tarr” Fox and Jessica Rabid