On Saturday, March 15 at Big League Dreams in Redding, Shasta Roller Derby held their 2014 season opener. It was a mix of Shasta skaters playing against each other for a crowd composed of mostly first-time derby viewers. The teams were split into black versus white or the Rolling Blackouts versus the Arctic Assault. A portion of the proceeds went to support One SAFE Place, a refuge for domestic abuse and a Shasta Derby partner.
The Arctic Assault was led by Shasta's head coach Hyde Jobe Itch and injured skater Shadow Soldier. They faced off against the Rolling Blackouts led by Shasta's assistant coach Roll Model and consulting coach Sac Killa.
The Rolling Blackouts came out strong, opening the bout with a 20-0 lead. Once the shock of the first few jams wore off, Arctic Assault was able to put points on the scoreboard. From then on each team answered back and forth with a few points at a time, keeping the game close. The Rolling Blackouts remained in the lead by just a few points for the majority of the first quarter. In a lucky twist of fate, Arctic Assault jammer Swift D Mize got a power jam and pulled team white into the lead for the first time.
Score with 15:00 left: 64-62, Arctic Assault
Following the lead change the Rolling Blackouts started to get into immense penalty trouble that would haunt them the entire bout. Jam after jam, minute after minute, team black couldn't keep more than two skaters on the track at a time. With a continual 4-2 advantage the Arctic Assault continued to widen the point spread, at one point holding a 60-point lead. In the final jam of the half the white jammer went to the penalty box for a track cut and Blackout jammer Lil Beez Neez gathered up a quick 20 points, making it anyone's game again, just as the time clock expired.
Score at the half: 138-103, Arctic Assault
With a mere 35-point lead (what could be accrued in a single power jam), Arctic Assault was anything but assured a win. The Rolling Blackouts came back on the track with a renewed hope of victory. Sadly, this was quickly quashed with a record number of repeated penalties being called in quick succession. While the white team made seldom trips to the penalty box, black blockers couldn't stay away and white was able to nearly double their lead.
Score with 15:00 left: 218-132, Arctic Assault
One look at the white board (the device in the center of the track where all the penalties are recorded) said it all. While Arctic Assault had perhaps a total of 9 or 12 penalties spread throughout the roster, the Rolling Blackouts had five skaters with 6 penalties (7 gets you ejected), mostly destruction of the pack penalties. With 6 minutes remaining Goody Two Screws was ejected, followed a minute later by Lexus Holdem. Meanwhile, white jammers Ruthless Redneck and NINgirl Roxit were racking up points with little to no resistance. Even though animosity was high in the final minutes of the bout, both teams ultimately had the satisfaction of knowing that at the end of the day, they are on the same team.
Final score: 285-165, Arctic Assault
Arctic Assault Awards:
- Arctic Assaulter: Goody Two Screws
- Frozen Solid: Bad Astral
- Ice Queen: Slappa Ho
- Jamboni: Lil Beez Neez
- Penguin Partners: Vonda Kut-A-Vitch and Lexus Holdem
Rolling Blackout Awards:
- Batshit Crazy: AmBam Booty Slam
- Hot n Spicy: Rah Rah
- Hammer Ho: Betty Bolts
- Nailed Her: Swift D Mize
- Sneaky Kitty: Ruthless Redneck