(DENVER, CO) The local quad-skate athletes that comprise GateKeepers Roller Derby are certainly ones that are familiar with the term “legacy.”
Since October 18, 2015, the St. Louis collective have possessed the championship trophy associated with the Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA).
Their three-game sweep at the governing body’s three-day tournament held this past weekend at Denver’s Foothills Fieldhouse resulted in the squad’s “five-peat” and fulfillment as the most-decorated team within the men’s sport.
Sunday’s 157-117 victory over the Magic City Misfits in the gold medal game pushed GKRD’s cumulative hold of the MRDA trophy to a mind-staggering 1,456 days…add one by the time you read this recap.
Heading into the ten-team bracketed tournament, the top-seeded GateKeepers, who finished the season 10-1, were arguably vulnerable to potentially dropping the title. A regular season setback to surging, second-seeded Magic City and injuries to a pair of veteran blockers heading into the weekend did not automatically result in safe money being placed on the defending four-time champions.
With all that added pressure, St. Louis rose to the challenge and exceeded it thanks to the solid play of veterans Magnum, Shane Bower, Metcalfe, The Saint, Hulk, Sir Nixalot, Kyle Stark, Wrecking Bill, Monster Jam, Last Rites, and Matthew Uttendorf. Supplemental help was recorded by Shred Astaire, D’Amaro, Jammy Pacquiao, Yoshi Denali, Quadratic Evasion and Dr. Dredd to fulfill the five-peat prophecy.
In the end, the GateKeepers’ fifth title was a total team effort and perhaps the most-satisfying one yet given the upward international trajectory of the MRDA.
Friday’s quarterfinal round saw St. Louis record a 235-70 victory over ninth-seeded Denver Ground Control to advance to the weekend’s Final Four. GKRD held a 116-41 lead at intermission and outscored the host league 119-29 to claim the quarterfinal duke.
Looking to exact revenge over the Floridian-based Misfits, who had snapped the GateKeepers’ 51-game, MRDA-sanctioned winning streak in June, St. Louis engaged in a serious physical tussle in Sunday’s title game. However, the Misfits again dealt fits in the first period and when the dust settled at intermission, St. Louis trailed 74-54.
In the first twenty-minutes of the second period, the GateKeepers were able to utilize momentum and outscore the Misfits, 58-27, and possessed a slim 112-101 lead with under nine minutes left to go in the game.
Down the stretch, St. Louis continued to post points when surrendering few and a 35-16 shutdown in the final rotations resulted in the GateKeepers’ 40-point win and their fifth consecutive MRDA title.
The 157-117 win added another chapter to the team’s legacy that is being perpetually penned and will resume when the travel team resumes play in Spring 2020….with a sixth MRDA consecutive title as the potential prize.
For more information of GateKeepers Roller Derby, go to their official website.