The travel team of St. Louis-based GateKeepers Roller Derby, the three-time defending champions of the Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA), is primed to extend their current 35-game sanctioned winning streak at a highly-competitive invitational held this weekend in Wisconsin.
GKRD skates at the ninth-annual Midwest BrewHaHa beginning Friday at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena in downtown Milwaukee.
St. Louis has meetings with MRDA compatriots Texas, Magic City and Southern Discomfort during the Badger State trek.
The GateKeepers (3-0) launched their interleague campaign with a three-game sweep at the Big O invitational in Eugene, Oregon in early-May and victories over Bridgetown (208-118), Vancouver (452-42) and Houston (578-30) progressed a MRDA win streak that dates back to June 2015. The output jettisoned the team as an early favorite for the governing bodies’ upcoming post-season tournament held in October.
“The GateKeepers came out of Big O as the undisputed #1 seed,” assessed St. Louis co-captain Magnum P.I.M.P. of the trifecta. “We played great together and our newer players really stepped up. It was better than we even planned.”
For the three-game set this weekend, jamming will be paced by Magnum, Shane Bower, ScreechAround, David Metcalfe, Bruno Scars and Last Rites.
Blocking is anchored by The Saint, Percy Controll, Spin Diesel, Bled Zeppelin, Hulk, Double Excel, Wrecking Bill, Sir Nixalot, Wrecking Bill, Kyle Stark, Lumberjerk, Nate Bower, Michael D’Amaro and Matthew Uttendorf.
“We are (fielding) our entire charter this weekend except for (blocker) Monster Jam, who is injured,” said Magnum of the team’s 19-skater complexion. “We are hoping to highlight our depth while controlling games.”
The GateKeepers’ Friday afternoon opponent, Texas Men’s Roller Derby, finished third at the 2016 MRDA Championships but did not play enough games to qualify for the 2017 post-season tourney. Returning to the mix, Texas possesses a 3-2 record that includes a dominant victory over the aforementioned Houston (623-18).
“Texas has added a lot of new faces and talent since last year,” said Magnum. “If they learn how to play as a team, Texas will be very dangerous.”
Jacksonville, Florida-based Magic City Misfits (2-0), a perennial MRDA Champs entrant, netted dominant wins over Collision Roller Derby (548-34) and Carolina Wreckingballs (324-101).
“They are a top ten team that has picked up a chunk of elite, satellite skaters,” assessed Magnum of Saturday’s foe. “Magic City will be a threat to put up big points against, whoever they play.”
London, England’s Southern Discomfort (1-0 in MRDA-sanctioned play) is the premier league from the United Kingdom and notched a 212-107 triumph over Lincolnshire in May.
“SoDisco is the team that has the best cohesion and strategy out of three leagues we are taking on this weekend,” said Magnum of the Sunday match-up. “All three teams will test us in different ways.“
The GateKeepers are looking forward to the challenges this weekend and hope to successfully sip foamy pints at event’s conclusion.
“Our opponents at Brewhaha are all trying to make statements to be Top 5 teams,” claimed Magnum. “This weekend has the possibility to showcase that the GateKeepers are in a class of their own.“
For more information on GateKeepers Roller Derby, go to their official website.