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Arch Rival & GateKeepers Crown Derby Champs This Saturday

by Brian Ledford

Championship titles will be claimed this Saturday night as the local finales take place for Arch Rival Roller Derby (ARCH) and GateKeepers Roller Derby (GKRD) at Queeny Park’s Midwest Sport Hockey (510 Weidman Road, Ballwin, MO).

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

In the 6:30 p.m. ARCH opener, the defending champs, the Smashinistas, tangle with the Stunt Devils while in the men’s game that follows, defending Turf Wars’ kingpin Central West Friends battle the Creve Coroners.

The double-header dip actually finds both current title holders occupying the role of underdog in their respective match-ups.

The Smashinistas (2-2) have dropped their last two contests, which included a 272-218 setback to the M-80s earlier this month. In the contest, the troopers were low on numbers as four starters were out of the mix and a 69-0 rally surrendered to the red-flannels in the second period resulted in a low-point of the regular season.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

Reflecting on the moment, and regaining the quartet missing last month, the Smashies now aim to rebound and recapture the ARCH trophy, which would be their fourth title reign overall. High scoring jammer Bolt Action propels the scoring while Flash and The Jukes on You supplements.

Blocking is paced by Cloak N’ Drag-Her, Vicious Van GoGo, Smarty McFly, Professor Rumbledore, Girl Fawkes, Rock Slobster, Hero-Shima, Spock-N-Roll, Outlaw Josie Wheels, Poison Ivy, Holliver Fist and Rude-Off.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

Conversely, a win by the hard-charging Stunt Devils (2-2) would supplant their legacy as ARCH’s most decorated local franchise as they will have snared their fifth League title. They also look to overturn their last Queeny Park effort as they fell to the aforementioned M-80s by two points in March.

Jamming is spearheaded by the dual threat of Bricktator and PsychoKid D’ Freakout  while Ultraviolet and Aggie Wartooth supplements.

The key to a Stunts’ victory will be the blocking schema of Shear-Ra Powers, Fletch-A-Sketch, Lethal Dose, Hardcore Parkour, Wonder Thighs, Joan of Spark, Splatter, Pegassas, Nox and Bruise Almighty.

In the regular season opener held last December, the pair tangled to a single-digit spread at whistle’s end. This one is considered a coin-flip and a similar result is projected.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

A similar narrative takes place for the GKRD Turf Wars finale. Earlier this month, the two title entrants played and the end-result was not pretty as the Creve Coroners easily outpaced the Central West Friends.

However, one had to put an asterisk next to that result as three lynchpin members of the Friends were absent as they were competing at the Men’s Roller Derby Word Cup in Barcelona, Spain.

A full line-up returns Saturday as the Friends sport a jammer rotation of Bower Ranger, Bruno Scars, Yoshi and Last Rites while blockers So-Go, Percy Controll, The Great Stromboli, Fruit Wall-Up, Cpt. Kramerica, Thrillhouse and Quadratic Invasion lay down the foundation as the team seeks back-to-back titles.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

Meanwhile, the Creve Coroners come into Saturday’s game possessing that “from worst to first” narrative. A team that only previously had one victory via forfeit on its historical ledger, the medics finished the regular season with a 3-1 mark and contain the firepower for an initial Turf Wars trophy.

Jammers Magnum P.I.M.P., Shred Astaire and Jammy Pacquiao each don the star while blockers Double Excel, Boney Fangers, Hulk, Nix, Specs, Beddes, Otter Nonsense and Wrecks Appeal provide assistance.

Tickets at the door are $12 while children 10 and under get in free. Adult tickets purchased in advance online at Brown Paper Tickets are $10 while groups of six and more can get a ticket for $8. VISIT THIS LINK for online discounts.

For more information on ARCH, go to their official website.

For more information on GKRD, go to their official website.

Arch City Sports will be at Saturday’s doubleheader and will have a full recap on Sunday.

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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.

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