(BALLWIN, MO) Championship hardware was hoisted at the local season finale for Arch Rival Roller Derby (ARCH) and GateKeepers Roller Derby (GKRD) in front a packed house Saturday at Queeny Park’s Midwest Sport Hockey.
The ensuing results for both leagues saw hard-charging squads on quads upend the respective defending champions with dominant second-period defensive play.
In the women’s opener, the Smashinistas topped the two-time defending ARCH champion Stunt Devils 188-122 to claim their first local title since 2014. In the men’s nightcap, the Central West Friends bested the defending Turf Wars kingpin, the Raiders of Forest Park 171-90 to claim its inaugural GKRD trophy.
ARCH: SMASHINISTAS 188 STUNT DEVILS 122
The Smashinisas finished their season unblemished (5-0) and figuring out a key component for the season’s success was somewhat simple from the onset.
“Friendship, I guess,” reflected Smashies’ co-captain Cloak N’ Drag-Her following her team’s 66 point win.
Although that is true, one has to statistically look at the camo-clad troopers’ 33-0 rally deep in the first period which resulted in a cushion that set the tone for a less stressful second half.
“Everyone’s been playing so solid this year,” added teammate Shimmy Hoffa. “It was easy and fun.”
The two-time defending champs quickly sprinted out of the gates as Stunt Devils’ jammer Bricktator posted a 15-point strike on the title game’s opening jam.
The Smashies responded with 34 points straight as Harmony Killerbruise’s 25-point non-lead power jam in the second rotation was followed by Salty’s nine-point strike in Jam 3 that resulted in a 34-15 lead for the Smashinistas at the 25:10 mark.
The Stunts trailed 55-26 with 15:30 left in the period but with help from blockers Shear-Ra Powers, Nox, Beaver Knievel, Bruise Almighty, Fletch A Sketch, Hakuna Renata, Goldie Blocks, Pegasass, Joan of Spark, Wonder Thighs, Cruella Belle-ville and Hardcore Parkour, the daredevils went on a 24-14 run over the next four jams.
Stunt Devil jammer Psychokid D’ Freakout started the run with a grand slam with 14:25 left in the period that shored the score to 55-31 and Bricktator followed with a nine-point rotation that narrowed the score to 55-40.
The Smashies’ Smarty McFly briefly halted the rally with a 14-point power jam that pushed the score to 69-40 but D’Freakout’s retorted 10-point power jam recorded with 9:40 remaining sliced the lead to 69-50.
The Smashies then went on the aforementioned five-jam, 33-0 rally that resulted in late-first period comfort. Killerbruise started the stretch with a 15-point power jam at the 7:45 mark that pushed the score to 84-50. Then following Flash’s solo-point effort, back-to-back four-pointers collected by Salty and Bolt Action extended the lead to 93-50.
Killerbruise’s nine-pointer with 2:45 left finished the push as the Smashies held a 102-50 advantage.
The Stunts were able to post 17 points straight in the period’s final two jams and with Bricktator’s 14-pointer heading into intermission, the defending champs trailed 102-67.
Early in the second period, both squads played relatively clean and the halftime differential never shifted. An 8-8 push over the period’s first four jams resulted in a 110-75 lead for the Smashies heading into Jam 5.
The Smashies’ 12-4 run over the next two jams, accented by Bolt’s eight-point strike with 23:50 left, pushed the score to 122-79.
As the second period progressed, the stubborn Smashies’ defense, paced by the aforementioned Drag-Her, Hoffa and McFly, as well as starters Rumbledore, Holliver Fist, Birdsong, Rock Slobster and Detta, kept providing hits, and giving fits, to the Stunt jammers and blocking sistren.
Killerbruise’s 19-point power jam with 17:10 left made the score 147-93 and pretty much sealed the deal for their 2017 championship claim.
The Smashies outscored the Stunt Devils in the second period 86-55 en route to the 188-122 ARCH trophy victory. Killerbruise finished the night with 89 points followed by Bolt Action’s 30.
“We balanced everyone out and played together,” said the Smashies’ Drag-Her afterwards. “We played our best for each other and put our nose to the grindstone to make it happen and we came out on top.”
Bricktator topped the Stunt Devils (2-3) with 69 points followed by Aggie Wartooth’s 20.
SMASHINISTAS (188): Harmony Killerbruise 89, Bolt Action 30, Salty 27, Smarty McFly 22, Flash 19.
STUNT DEVILS (122): Bricktator 69, Aggie Warooth 20, Psychokid D’Freakout 18, Violet Opposition 16, Beaver Knievel 1.
GRKD: CENTRAL WEST FRIENDS 171 RAIDERS OF FOREST PARK 90
The Turf Wars’ title game was a topsy-turvy affair and the score at halftime saw the Friends sport a two-point lead over the defending champs. The CWF’s 27-1 early second-half push inevitably resulted in the squads’ first-ever GKRD local trophy snare.
Trailing 10-0 five jams deep, the Friends went on a 17-3 run that resulted in a scoreboard flip. With leads obtained by jammers Last Rites, Bower Ranger and HEYNONGMAN, the Friends claimed a 17-13 lead change following Rites’ four-point tally with 20:40 left in the half. Ranger added a trey on the next jam that pushed the score to 20-13.
As the period progressed, both squads failed to post double-digit rotations. As the Friends fielded the steady blocking schema of Percy Controll, Monster Jam, the Great Stromboli, SoGo, Cpt. Kramerica, Thrillhouse and Yoshi, the Raiders countered with Spin Diesel, Walker Hamilton, Atom Bomb, Arty Panimal, Nate Bower, Dr. Dredd, Debaucherous Prime and Wrecking Bill.
With Forest Park trailing 45-32 with under four minutes left in the period, the Raiders netted a dozen points and made the game a halftime nail biter. Back-to-back-to-back four pointers from ScreechAround and D. Mouthful were claimed and the CWF, who snatched a solo point in the half’s penultimate jam, only held a two-point lead, 46-44, at intermission.
The Friends’ 27-1 surge that launched the second half of play set the tone and projected where the trophy would eventually land.
Rites’ 19-point jam with 10:20 left pushed the score to 125-77. Both Yoshi and SoGo each had double-digit strikes down the stretch that secured a hardware hoist.
The Friends (4-1) outscored the Raiders, 125-46, to claim their inaugural Turf Wars title. Bower Ranger finished the night with 64 points followed by Last Rites’ 43.
The Raiders (2-3) were led by ScreechAround’s 45 points.
CENTRAL WEST FRIENDS (171): Bower Ranger 64, Last Rites 43, HEYNONGMAN 27, Yoshi 20, SoGo 13, Fruit Wallup 4.
RAIDERS OF FOREST PARK (90): Screech Around 45, Debaucherous Prime 25, D. Mouthful 20.
For more information on Arch Rival Roller Derby, go to their official website.
For more information on GateKeepers Roller Derby, go to their official website.
Here is post-game footage of ARCH’s Smashinistas celebrating their victory.
By trade, he is a six-time, regional Emmy Award-winning news videographer/editor for KTVI/KPLR-TV. By hobby, he is an announcer and digital content producer for St. Louis-based Arch Rival Roller Derby. Also a webcast announcer for post-season roller derby tournaments on wftda.tv. Yep, this Illinoisan primarily writes about derby, covering Arch Rival, the St. Chux Derby Chix and the STL GateKeepers men's league. He also writes about St. Louis SLAM Women's Football, St. Louis Lions women's soccer and other sports topics.