Home Editor's Picks Arch Rival All-Stars Set For New Season With Home Battles This Weekend

Arch Rival All-Stars Set For New Season With Home Battles This Weekend

Top-Ranked Locals Tussle With Flat-Track Derby Teams From Jacksonville & Los Angeles

by Brian Ledford

A new season launches for the primary travel squad of St. Louis-based Arch Rival Roller Derby this weekend and they are primed to make initial splashes with local contests against upper-echelon opponents.

The Arch Rival All-Stars meet New Jax City All-Stars Saturday night at Midwest Sport Hockey at Queeny Park (570 Weidman Rd., Ballwin, MO).

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

ARCH’s two-game event at their home venue, which contains an opener between the league’s Fleur-De-Linquents C-team against St. Charles County-based SCDC, begins at 5:30 pm. Tickets at the door are $15 while children 10 and under are free. Advance discounted tickets available at THIS LINK.

Then on Sunday morning, the quad-wheelers host Angel City Roller Derby’s Hollywood Scarlets at their practice facility, located at The Skatium in South St. Louis City.

Optimism is high for ARCH’s signature team, who are currently ranked first in the North America-Northeast Region of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).

“Throughout Arch Rival’s history, we have often been the underdog,” said ARCH All-Stars’ co-captain Bricktator. “Now, as the top team in the region, and one of the top teams in the world, we know other teams are looking to knock us down a peg. Even with our success, we still play with that underdog mentality, like we have something to prove. That serves us well because we bring everything we have to every game.”

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

The All-Stars finished last season 8-2 with strong results. The pair of tight setbacks on the scoreboard were against the Rose City Rollers’ Wheels of Justice, the four-time WFTDA Hydra Cup champs that have won the last two international tournaments held.

ARCH mightily played that legacy team jam-for-jam and plans to use that upward trajectory heading into their new campaign. Skating against a pair of impressive visiting leagues will be a propeller as they eye the WFTDA Northeast Regional playoffs held next month in State College, Pennsylvania. On Tuesday, the governing body revealed that St. Louis is the tourney’s top-seed.

“As we prepare for Regionals, we knew we needed to get some games against non-Northeast Region teams to help knock off the rust from the off-season,” assessed Bricktator. “New Jax and Angel City are two great teams with very different styles, which will provide great opportunities for our team to re-establish our rhythm.”

Alongside Bricktator, veteran jammers in the charter this season include Annie Swanson, Jedi Knight-N-Gale, Hart and Skeevie Nicks.

Pacing the blocking are tenured skaters Vicious van GoGo, Shear-Ra Powers, LuxFurious, Cloak N’ Drag-Her, K. Woodward, Bolt Action, Splatter, dad bod, Eirinn Go Brawl, Cruella, Pegasass, Pork T’Choup Slamwich, Birdsong and SheKill O’Neal.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

The team’s new addition this season is Slaytoven, who coincidentally transfers from New Jax.

Overall familiarity, experience and depth is at the forefront of ARCH’s Saturday debut. Currently, nineteen members of last season’s 20-skater charter return for this go-around.

“The majority of the All-Stars have been playing together for years, which has created a tight group of individuals who all love this sport and this team,” said Bricktator. “It’s more fun to play (and win!) when that is the case.”

Saturday’s comparable opponent at Queeny looks to spoil ARCH’s opener.

Jacksonville, Florida-based New Jax City Rollers (3-0) currently rolls a top the WFTDA North America South Region’s rankings, thanks to ten straight triumphs in sanctioned play since returning from the pandemic in 2022.

Following 2023’s 6-0 output, New Jax have extended their overall win streak to double-digits after collecting a three-game sweep at the Franky Panky invitational held last month in Tampa. Wins against Texas (174-119), Red Stick (231-161) and Tampa (286-80) provided plenty of momentum for the Floridians heading into the weekend.

Although Saturday’s match-up will be the first between the pair since August 2017, the rivalry between the factions runs deep. In five meetings overall, ARCH holds a 3-2 edge by collecting two straight triumphs.

“We know New Jax is quick and aggressive, and they always bring an element of surprise,” said ARCH’s Bricktator.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

After that game, there’s no rest for the weary as another solid team looms ahead the following morning.

ARCH’s Sunday opponent, the Angel City Hollywood Scarlets, is currently ranked third in the WFTDA North America West Region.

Their overall 3-2 record heading into this weekend’s play was the direct result of a runner-up finish at the Cactus Cup tournament held in Dallas, Texas in mid-March. While their pair of setbacks against aforementioned Rose City impacted their overall ledger, they still managed triple-digit dominant wins during bracketed play that raised eyebrows.

Historically, Angel City holds a 2-1 edge, but ARCH topped the Hollywood Scarlets in their last meeting, a 142-91 triumph in August 2019.

Push the four-plus-year gap aside. ARCH is fully aware that the guests from the Golden State present a mighty challenge.

“Angel City has gained some skaters this season, both returning from time away and transfers from other leagues, which makes them even more competitive,” assessed Bricktator. “Having two games in two days is critical to our post-season tournament prep, both mentally and physically.”

Both Angel City and New Jax will face each other in a closed contest early Saturday afternoon at Queeny Park that should provide additional intrigue as both aim to either supplant or add on to their respective momentums heading into their own respective regional playoffs held in June.

ARCH’s Bricktator hopes that local, and vocal, crowds will support their flat-track efforts this weekend.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

“This is a rare opportunity to see high-level derby from some of the best teams in the world right here in St. Louis,” hyped the co-captain. “You’ll surely be impressed by the athleticism and physicality of these teams.”

In Saturday’s opener at Midwest Sport Hockey, it is an automatic given that either ARCH’s Fleur-De-Linquents or SCDC will snare their first victory of the season.

Both competed against travel teams from Columbia, Missouri-based COMO Roller Derby last month and each suffered setbacks on the scoreboard.

The ARCH FDLs (0-1) fell to the COMO All-Stars, 177-53, while SCDC (0-1) were topped by the COMO B-Rolls, 225-119. Recaps of those games can be found AT THIS LINK.

Each team looks to make strides in the opening tussle and will compete at optimum levels in order to either claim a win or, more importantly, give their skaters valuable flat-track experience.

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

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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 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.

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