The primary travel squad of the St. Louis GateKeepers kicks off its local campaign this Saturday night with aspirations of keeping its undefeated record in the Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA) intact.
St. Louis, ranked third internationally in the MRDA, hosts #23 Sioux City Kornstalkers at Midwest Sport Hockey in Ballwin, MO. The event, which also features a preliminary bout with the league’s STL B-Keepers developmental team against the Tulsa Derby Militia, begins at 7 p.m.
The GateKeepers (4-0) have overwhelmingly dominated opponents thus far in 2014, outscoring them collectively, 1419-212.
That nearly 7-to-1 ratio exemplifies a franchise that is poised to pounce again Saturday at its home opener.
“The team is in a really great place,” said GateKeepers’ co-captain Percy Controll. “We are all on the same page with our training, and we are all putting in the hard work to reach our team’s goals. I think that we are well on our way to a very successful season.”
What’s most impressive about the undefeated men’s league is that it has performed at high levels with the entire roster’s complexion. There are not one or two standouts, according to Controll. Rather, it’s a line-up that is defined by the sum of all its respective flat-track parts.
“Everyone on our team has really stepped it up,” Controll said. “We are lucky to have a deep bench, with the majority going above and beyond to take it to the next level.”
Jamming Saturday night will be paced by veterans Debaucherous Prime, Magnum P.I.M.P., Shane Bower, Gnat King Kill and Screecharound. Blocking will be anchored by Controll, Bled Zeppelin, The Saint, Kyle Stark, Inquadable Hulk, Spin Diesel, Wrecking Bill and a compliment of others.
Long story short, it’s hard for Controll to pin-point a “difference maker” for the locals this Saturday night, for everyone has been rock solid in play this season.
“The Saint has really upped his game lately,” assessed Controll when pressed on the team’s recent standouts. “And Shane Bower has worked so hard this season to perform at the highest level that he can for our team.”
Saturday’s opponent looks to continue its respective climb in the MRDA rankings. Sioux City has posted victories over comparable leagues and has played numerous exhibition games against high-caliber women’s squads.
The Kornstalkers (4-1) notched MRDA-sanctioned wins over Unita Madness (Salt Lake City, UT) and Dreadnaughts Roller Derby (Alberta, Canada) in May.
The Iowan league, established in 2011, is propelled by veterans Hot Shot, Dee Bags, John Sendya Holmes, Camel Joe, Toolshed and King Coopa. Saturday’s affair will be the inaugural match-up between the two leagues.
“I think Sioux City will be a physical game for us, which will keep us on track to focus on our teamwork and strategy, while working hard on clean play,” Controll said.
Tickets for Saturday’s event are $10 at the door. Children 10 and under get in for free.
The next morning, the GateKeepers host Tulsa Derby Militia in a “closed to the public” game at its practice facility in South St. Louis City.
Tulsa (0-2) is currently unranked in the MRDA, for it has not played enough sanctioned games yet to be rankings eligible. The Oklahoma-based league is led by captain Tin Man, Pickle, Glad E 8 ‘Er and Freak of Nature.
Controll feels that Sunday’s hangover bout is important in keeping the locals in-step with competitive MRDA interleague play.
“With Tulsa, they have some bigger guys that like to hit hard,” he said. “Solid offense and strong walls are key (for us).”
For more information on the St. Louis GateKeepers, go to www.stlgatekeepers.com.