One of St. Louis-based Arch Rival Roller Derby‘s travel teams make an East Coast trip this weekend in quest of claiming first place in a one-day scramble.
ARCH’s Nemesis, competes at the “Flavortahn Throwdahn” Saturday in Cheswick, PA.
Alongside the St. Louisans, the four-team bracketed tournament contains the host team, Steel City Roller Derby, as well as the Detroit Roller Derby All-Stars and the Penn Jersey All-Stars.
In the semifinal round, the Nemesis meets Penn Jersey at 12 pm Central while Detroit and Steel City tangle on the other side of the tree afterwards. A 4 pm third place game is followed by the event’s finale at 5:30 pm. Live online coverage can be found at THIS LINK
The afternoon tussle finds all teams engaged in a quad-skate sprint. The event’s format consists of two 20-minute periods per game.
The Nemesis (1-0) returned to play after a three-year absence last month and posted a 254-95 victory over Minnesota Nice at the league’s hosted Midwest Derby Ope’N held at Midwest Sport Hockey in Ballwin.
“Our victory against Minnesota was incredibly fun and joyful,” said Nemesis co-captain Joan of Spark. “It was truly our first time playing together as a team since 2019, and once we calmed down on the track, we took care of business.”
Their Saturday semi-final opponent, Penn Jersey (1-0), competes both on banked and flat-track configurations. For the Missouri rep, staying focused in a quick 40-minute sprint against a team that skates in dual disciplines is key in order to claim victory that pushes them to the title game.
“We’re anticipating some chaos against Penn Jersey, given that banked-track teams usually play faster and like to pull out the big hits, but we’re ready,” said Spark. “We’re going to take it jam-by-jam and not let them control the speed at which we play.”
The Nemesis’ roster at Flavortahn will be comparable to the one fielded during their triple-digit victory over Minnesota last month.
Alongside Spark, blocking will be paced by veterans Regrets, Outlaw Josie Wheels, Birdsong, Ace, Warpath O’ Jen, Spider Monkey and Jill Sole while newcomers POW!, Art Brute and DeeBomb supplements. Nemesis bench coach Bolt Action is also pegged as an alternate.
Jamming will be handled by Nemesis co-captain Ultraviolet, Skeevie Nicks and Hart while other blockers with jamming experience fill-in.
The collective mix is solid on paper. The Nemesis will be the lone “B” team competing at the tournament while the other three leagues field their primary travel squads.
“The Nems roster is looking great,” said Spark. “We have a nice balance of veteran ARCH players and new additions. Since we’re the only B team taking on other league’s A teams, we feel especially motivated to prove ourselves.”
ARCH’s missive at Flavortahn is to continue that positive trajectory that was seen locally a few weeks ago that provides motivation as the team returns to a fully-competitive docket next calendar year.
“The goal is to, of course, win the tournament, but we’re also keeping in mind that this is a transition period– a mini travel season before what we hope will be a full-fledged travel season in 2023,” said Spark.
Regardless of the outcome, the do-it-yourself attitude that the Nemesis possess plans to propel the one-day tilt.
“How can we not when we’ve committed to taking two mini-vans on a nine-hour road trip?” said Spark. “I’m just looking forward to a quality weekend with my friends and playing some kick-ass roller derby for the joy of it.”
Arch City Media will have a recap of the Nemesis’ journey posted Sunday.
By trade, he is a six-time, regional Emmy Award-winning news videographer/editor for KTVI/KPLR-TV. By hobby, he is a writer for Arch City Media, dating back to February 2014. Emphasis is on featuring and promoting local women's sports, but will cover anything that is not reported by traditional media outlets. Also a contributor to local concert reviews.