After collecting three-game sweeps at a highly-competitive invitational last month, the primary travel squads of the Arch Rival Roller Girls (ARRG) and GateKeepers Roller Derby (GKRD) look for repeat performances this weekend and keep their respective records spotless.
Both Arch Rival (8-0) and the GateKeepers (3-0) compete at the sixth-annual Midwest BrewHaHa, this Friday through Sunday at UWM Panther Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The three-day, two-track event features 44 games over the course of the weekend.
Arch Rival, currently ranked #18 internationally by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), faces #6 Minnesota, #22 Ohio and #27 Steel City.
The GateKeepers, currently ranked second internationally by the Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA), faces #4 Puget Sound, #6 Texas and #14 Twin Cities.
Both respective squads won all three games three weekends ago at the “Spring Roll” invitational in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The women’s trifecta pushed Arch Rival to its hottest start in franchise history and maintained the in-team bonding that has been imperative to its success.
“We have set a high bar for ourselves this season,” said Arch Rival co-captain Bricktator. “Everyone has pushed themselves and make sacrifices to prioritize derby in their lives. As a result, we are physically fit, mentally tough, and strategically sound. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that we like spending a lot of time together.”
Alongside Bricktator, jammers Brickyard, Mighty Mighty Boston, Annie Swanson and Harmony Killerbruise will “don the star” throughout the weekend.
Blocking will be paced by co-captain Party Foul, Mayor Francis Slayer, Emily Rinehart, Shimmy Hoffa, Chewblocka, Jamheiser Bush, Kayla Seiber, Ninja Sass ‘Em and Cloak N’ DragHer. Charter members Julie Gray, Shear-Ra Powers, The Ginger Assassin, Kayla Wing, Grave Danger and Krista Grant are also scheduled for the trip.
The St. Louis women face very imposing opposition, arguably their toughest yet this season, at BrewHaHa. Friday afternoon’s tussle with #22 Ohio (6-3) renews an old rivalry, as the two teams have split the six games they have competed against each other historically. The Columbus-based rollers have won two straight with victories over #78 Gold Coast (326-95) and #93 Maine (289-74).
Conversely, Saturday morning’s meeting with #27 Steel City is an inaugural affair. The Pittsburgh-based squad (4-4) has won three straight. They topped #68 Brandywine, 202-106, last month to continue the streak.
Sunday’s early-evening game against higher-ranked Minnesota (2-1) is projected to be a barn burner. The sixth-ranked team in the WFTDA is looking to boost its mark after suffering its first loss of the season to #10 Philadelphia three weeks ago.
The results of all three contests, win or lose, is important for Arch Rival as it looks to maintain traction, if not provide a late push, in the WFTDA rankings. June marks the final month of sanctioned play prior to the governing body’s release of its final hierarchy that determines post-season placement. According to Bricktator, ARRG’s ascension up the totem pole is probable with strong outcomes in Milwaukee this weekend.
“We are very aware that the outcomes of these games will be our final scores before the playoff seedings are determined,” the co-captain said. “Our climb up the rankings this season has already put us in a position to be competitive at Playoffs. However, a BrewHaHa sweep would further set us up for success.”
Meanwhile on the St. Louis men’s derby side, the GateKeepers want to continue the momentum that was found in Indiana last month. Three solid wins at Spring Roll, where St. Louis collectively outscored its three opponents, 1282-163, launched the 2015 campaign.
“Spring Roll is typically our first big challenge of the season,” said GateKeepers jammer Corey Porter. “This is a big springboard going forward.”
Alongside Porter, Shane Bower, Magnum P.I.M.P., Screecharound and Gnat King Kill are set to don the star this weekend.
Blockers Percy Controll, Double Excel, Bled Zeppelin, Kyle Stark, Wrecking Bill, Inquadable Hulk, Spin Diesel, The Saint, Walker Hamilton, Hand Rail, David Metcalfe, Specs Offender, Monster Jam, Mueller and Nate Bower are also primed to lay down the foundation.
The lopsided cumulative differential found three weekends ago are not projected here, as all three opposing squads bring plenty to the table, making for extremely competitive play.
Friday morning’s meet-up with #14 Twin Cities (2-0) is expected to be a good docket opener as the Minnesota-based rollers have been dominant in its fast start.
St. Louis battles its closest-ranked opponent in Saturday afternoon’s meeting against #4 Puget Sound. The undefeated (4-0) rollers from Tacoma, Washington have dismantled its opposition this season. Puget Sound topped #7 Bridgetown, 171-129, last month.
Sunday morning’s meeting with #6 Texas (4-1) is a re-match from last month. At Spring Roll, the GateKeepers topped the Lone Star State, 163-115, in a game that was hard-charging by both throughout.
For the weekend, both St. Louis teams are game for what lies ahead.
“Heading into this weekend, we are confident and determined,” said Arch Rival’s Bricktator. “ARRG is a huge fan of BrewHaHa, so we look forward to a competitive, action-packed invitational.“
And a 6-0 cumulative finish for the locals continues the upward trend.
Live online coverage will be available all weekend for free via Hinckley Productions. Select the track you wish to watch by GOING TO THIS LINK.
For more information on the Arch Rival Roller Girls, go to archrivalrollergirls.com.
For more information on GateKeepers Roller Derby, go to stlgatekeepers.com.
ST. LOUIS BREWHAHA SCHEDULE
11:30 AM – GATEKEEPERS VS. TWIN CITIES (Track 1)
2:15 PM – ARCH RIVAL VS. OHIO (Track 2)
9 AM – ARCH RIVAL VS. STEEL CITY (Track 2)
3 PM – GATEKEEPERS VS. PUGET SOUND (Track 1)
10:45 AM – GATEKEEPERS VS. TEXAS (Track 2)
5:45 PM – ARCH RIVAL VS. MINNESOTA (Track 2)
Both leagues will be presenting their respective local league championships at Chaifetz Arena on Saturday, June 13. In the ARRG local championships, two-time defending champions, The Smashinistas, meet the Stunt Devils. In the GKRD “Turf Wars” finale, defending champ South Grand Slammers face off against the Riverfront Crimes. Advance discounted tickets are available AT THIS LINK.