Recap: 2019 Season Opener
If you didn’t attend Saturday’s game you missed out. The Grand Raggidy All Stars waged war in a tight scoring contest, but unfortunately fell to The Royal City Brute Leggers 152-130. A twenty-two point deficit may seem substantial to the roller derby neophyte. But one can compare this to a football team with one snap remaining in the 4th quarter, ball on the 10 yard line, down by a touchdown. That’s how close the final score was as one jam can yield 20 or more points and turn the game around in an instant.
One can’t deny though, Royal City played an extraordinary game, displaying tough defense and forcing our jammers to fight for every point. A few of our blockers also stressed the opinion that they felt scattered and a bit unglued on the track during the first half. While Royal City had a decent command of the game from the onset, Lucy Morals’s uncorked a 16 point jam which closed the scoring gap 45-38 midway through the first half. This was immediately followed by Ginja Ninja cutting through the pack, obtaining lead jammer position and scoring eight points to give us our first lead at 46-45. Lucy Morals then snagged an eight point jam extending our position 54-49. The lead did not last long, however, as the All Stars suffered eight consecutive scoreless jams due to Royal City’s rugged defense and the Brute Leggers took an 85-57 lead into halftime. In the second half the All Stars were able to return to a more cohesive blocking unit. Hawaiian Punch, like the bat out of hell she is, dropped a bomb hit near turn four which made the front row wince, sending her opponent to the floor. In addition to showcasing her blocking prowess, Hawaiian Punch stepped up to fill the jammer position and scored a twelve point jam earlier in the game. Maggie Walters, Ringo Deathstarr, Peach Clobber and Lindsay Blowhan are honorably mentioned, as they exhibited strong offensive blocking and forced Royal City’s jammers back on multiple occasions. Jammers also picked up the pace in the 2nd half, highlighted by Ginja Ninja and Ultrafox, each chalking up twelve point jams, closing the gap leading to the final minutes. The All Stars outscored the Brute Leggers in the final half 73-67, but unfortunately it was not enough, as Royal City triumphed, with a final score of 152-130.
Leading All Star jammers were Ginja Ninja and Lucy Morals each scoring 46 and 39 points respectively.
While your Grand Raggidy Attack was defeated by the Royal City Rum Runners 276-102, they showed a substantial improvement, both offensively and defensively, when compared to their last meeting’s loss of 310-85. Judging by this game, the Attack seem to be solidifying a consistent jammer rotation featuring Ann O’Steel, Dos Cinco, Misty MeanHer, and Dutchruction, while also experimenting with a different defensive strategy.
According To Knight of Slamalot, longtime veteran and Co-captain who is celebrating her eight year “derbyversary” with the league, “Attack is always the most fluctuating of groups, but even moreso recently. Today, we actually have a lot of jammers, which we don’t always have! In the past, we’ve been reliant on maybe two primary jammers. Today we have seven different jammers, who can all also pivot, giving us more flexibility. If one jammer isn’t effective, we’ve got more to choose from! This year, we’re also trying a different defensive formation.” Let’s expand a bit on the “fluctuation.” The Attack can be, for lack of a better term, a grooming ground of sorts. Akin to a Toledo Mudhen’s Triple-A ballplayer getting moved up to the Major League Detroit Tigers. If someone displays talent, has good work ethic, and desires to move up to All Stars, they may earn a spot if they so wish to. This may, at times, show an inconsistent team with athletes moving up, while also being the initial step for new skaters coming in.
The first half was strongest for Attack, and a solidified jamming core and tighter blocking showed that this team has potential. Things looked bright as Ann O’Steel lead off the jamming and escaped the pack immediately after the Rum Runners jammer, forcing her to call off the jam and held her to two points. Dos Cinco followed that up with a slamming seven point jam giving Attack a 7-2 lead. Dos Cinco also scored a 12 point jam just before halftime. Misty MeanHer and Dutchruction both collected 8-point jams during the first half. However, The Rum Runners took control of the game, led by speedy jammers breaking through the packs, and ended the half with an 88-51 lead. The second half failed to display the gel and focus which Attack exhibited in the first half, as Royal City quickly broke away, and ended the game victorious, 276-102.
A few things I want to make note of with this game. Ann O’Steel has shown improvement in her skill as a jammer. Dos Cinco is obviously talented and an athlete to keep your eye on as she has improved immensely in a short period of time. Misty MeanHer and Dutchruction seem to be consistently solid. Eleanor Wreckby shows promise as she made All Star charter this season. Geez Louise is a calm and collected blocker. With longtime veterans Knight of Slamalot, Vibrant Vengeance, Blitzkreig, and Ann O’Steel, alongside coaches Jem and DaddyPants, this team will hopefully keep improving upon their cohesiveness as athletes move up and new skaters start.
Leading scorers were Dos Cincos and Misty MeanHer with 47 and 19 points respectively.