Home Editor's Picks Undefeated COMO Roller Derby Takes Trip To Southern Illinois Saturday

Undefeated COMO Roller Derby Takes Trip To Southern Illinois Saturday

All-Stars Look To Keep Record Perfect In Match-Up Vs. Gremlins

by Brian Ledford

After picking up a win at their season opener two Saturdays ago, the primary travel team of COMO Roller Derby aims for a second straight triumph this weekend during a road trip against a league that they haven’t faced in six years.

The COMO All-Stars (1-0) face Southern Illinois Roller Gremlins (0-0) Saturday night at “Roller Eclipse,” held at The Pavilion (1602 Sioux Drive – Marion, IL). First whistle blows at 6 p.m.

The Columbia-based league won their first contest of the season, a 177-53 home victory over Arch Rival Roller Derby’s Fleur-De-Linquents on March 23.

COMO utilized second-period, uncontested sprints to claim the 126-point duke over the St. Louis-based league’s C-team.

“We’re still feeling the rush from that game,” said COMO blocker Vanna WipeOut. “The FDL skaters were so nice and awesome. They put up good jammers and a tough offense, but we were able to keep our game mostly slow and low and were successful holding their jammers in our walls.”

Leading 65-23 at intermission, COMO had separate bursts of 32-0 and 35-0 in the final frame. Five different jammers recorded double-digits on the night, paced by Weird Al Shank-A-Bitch’s 60 points in her return to the flat-track after being sidelined due to injury last season.

Photo Credit: Brian Ledford

“Her quick footwork and endurance really stood out and made a big difference for us during the game, both in points and confidence,” assessed WipeOut.

JoCo (41 points), Lady MacDeath (29 points), and Tornado Aly (28 points) also had productive nights with the “jammer’s star” in possession while Q.t. Kilr and Fice-T supplemented.

But the high-output of scoring would not have been possible without the solid blocking assistance provided by WipeOut, Kilr, Red Reaper, dethblok, Mesch‘er Up, L on Wheels, Mayday and Behr.

“We are also very excited to have Behr with us this year,” said WipeOut. “She is a transfer skater to COMO and comes to us with great blocking and pivot skills.”

The overall complexion of this year’s squad, which features a blend of tenured skaters and hard-charging up-and-comers, gives the A-team current and future depth.

Photo Credit: Brian Ledford

“This year’s bench has great experience coupled with great potential,” assessed WipeOut. “(We have) long-time veterans, such as dethblok (17 seasons!) and L on Wheels, and some post-COVID recruits who are in their first and second seasons such as JoCo, MacDeath, and Rose McPow’n.

Saturday’s roster for COMO will be similar except for the absence of full-time blocker Reaper. As of this writing, either jammer GenBlocker or blocker Breeze Blocks, both standouts from COMO’s B-Rolls developmental squad, will fill the slot.

Historically, COMO’s meetings with Southern Illinois date back nearly a dozen years. The all-time match-up between the pair has COMO sporting a 4-1 advantage, the last being a 255-148 victory in April 2018.

Already having one game under their skates compared to Saturday’s opponent might potentially give the Columbia quad-wheeled faction an early advantage.

“We got to test out our walls, work on areas of weakness, and get a feel for different jamming styles (quick vs. pushy),” said COMO’s WipeOut. “I think the game experience against (Arch Rival) will help us get comfortable on the track quicker and aid our coaches with decision-making when line-up changes are needed.”

Meanwhile, Southern Illinois Roller Gremlins skate on home track for the launch of their 2024 campaign.

“I’m very excited,” said SIRG Co-President Lethal Objection. “We’ve had a very slow return to play, and this season feels like we’re really getting back into it. I’m also very excited that our first competitive game will be against COMO. They were one of the first games that I watched SIRG play before I joined.”

“We’re super-extra stoked that we are hosting friends the weekend of the second solar eclipse to have crossed our area, right after having changed our name,” added coach Dread Pirate Robyn, referring to the league recently updating the letter “G” in their acronym from “Girls” to “Gremlins. ”It really feels like the stars are very literally aligning for us right now.”

SIRG competed in two games last year, posting victories at both.

In preparation for their skaters for the upcoming season, the League hosted an early-March open scrimmage event.

The Gremlins’ overall missive heading into Saturday?

“Our #1 goal is for the games to be competitive, but fun,” said Objection. “This is a recreational sport and we’re all putting a lot of work into it. But at the end of the day, it absolutely needs to be something everyone loves for us to be successful together!”

Alongside Objection, SIRG’s line-up at “Roller Eclipse”  includes The Great Catsby, Harlot O’Scara, Billie the Squid, Babe Runner, Professor Plum Crazy, Thriller, Kin’ney Shot, Killer Keebler, Schlitt Throat, Real FALCON Legacy, Unlucky Chuckie, Diana Slama, Janet Skatehole and Brickolage.

Comparable to COMO, the Gremlins’ roster mix contains both tenured and newer skaters.

However, the Gremlins have their own advantage of competing at a venue that they are extremely familiar with. The Pavillion’s polished-concrete floor has hosted League games and workouts since their 2010 inception.

“It helps considerably!” said Robyn. “The same floor that we learn to skate on is the one we practice on and the one we bout on, so we are familiar with it down to the point of knowing what weather changes will do to it.”

“Oh, our floor is my absolute favorite type of surface to skate on,” added Objection. “We know the quirks and what to expect day-to-day, and we know what wheels will give us the greatest amount of control over our movements.”

SIRG does have a friendly incentive Saturday. They want to claim their first W over COMO since October 2014 and slice into the all-time record, yet the final tally on the scoreboard is not the main prerogative.

“Some of my favorite people in derby have been from COMO, so more than anything I am looking forward to a fun bout,” said Robyn. “If we don’t have fun and learn at each game, what is the point?”

“I have absolutely always loved playing against COMO,” added Objection. “We know that they are a team that works hard and hits harder. I can’t wait to play them all!”

COMO are equally amped, but cautious.

“We are not really sure what to expect from SIRG this weekend,” projected COMO’s WipeOut. “We haven’t played them in a while but are excited to see what kind of talent and strategy they bring. We are bringing a very similar line-up and are preparing for a tough, but winnable, game.”

In Saturday’s 60-minute tilt, both teams crave victory. We’ll see which team reigns supreme after the final whistle blows.

Tickets for the event are $10 at the door while children 12 and under get in free. Those that cannot attend the game on-site can follow the action live online through SIRG’s Twitch Channel.

For more info on COMO, go to their official website.

For more info on SIRG, go to their official Facebook page.

Arch City Media will have a recap of the game posted Monday.

+ posts

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.

Related Articles