When I watch the St Louis Gatekeepers, things happen so quickly that I have a hard time wrapping my brain around what just happened. Things move so fast in the pack that I have trouble even breaking down the maneuvers, formations and strategies.
Their footwork and pure skating capabilities are absolutely mind-blowing. Size does not impact grace or mobility – their biggest guys are also some of their most agile (Meat Curtains for example). But then their medium sized guys are super agile (like Percy Controll). So are their smaller guys (like Gnat King Kill).
Ok. The whole team is some strange love-child of Fred Astaire and Niklas Kronwall. Grace and lightness and smash-you-in-the-face hits.
The Gatekeepers are phenomenal at the offensive-defense. They are able to track jammers through a pack defensively while assisting their jammer or breaking up walls. They don’t miss a beat, they don’t let the opposing jammer escape. If the jammer is able to wiggle by them, they are quick and wiley enough to make it up to the front of the pack to either catch them or at least give one last ditch hip thrust to send the jammer off balance.
What is amazing about the Gatekeepers is that when they play, they don’t look immortal. They are very human in their pack work: you see them make mistakes (because they are so fast in their motion). What makes them special as a team is their ability to recover and regroup.
No team is perfect. What I am learning through writing these articles is that what makes a team successful is not how rock solid their defense always is. It is not perfection that makes one team stronger than another. It is how responsive the whole unit is to danger: the danger is the other team’s offense. The Gatekeepers are able to take dangerous situations and turn them to their advantage without much difficulty.
That and it does help having guys like Magnum PIMP, Wrecking Bill and Skulls McCraken on your roster.
Their first bout of Champs for the Gatekeepers is against Puget Sound Outcast Derby. Now, for those of you keeping track, Puget and Gatekeepers bruised each other up at QUADTASTROPHE on September 1st. Puget only lost by 41points in that bout and there was a good portion of the first half that they were up. Puget will be out to take those points back. The Gatekeepers will be taking the track at 10:30a on Saturday with fire in their eyes: ready to prove to Puget and the rest of the MRDA that they are the best and they are not leaving Iowa without the title.
To learn more about the St Louis Gatekeepers like them on Facebook.
Thank you to Mr McWheely for the use of photos in this article. Go to their pages. Like them. Buy prints. Buy prints from all the photogs. We need them in this sport.
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