The Twin City Derby Girls traveled to Quincy on Saturday, where their rookie team, the Vice Quads, took on the Dark River Derby Coalition in a bout that was action packed from beginning to end. Despite being down 19 points at the beginning and losing a key player to injury, the Vice Quads won the bout, with a final score of 154–117.
The Dark River girls took an early lead, with jammer Gale Burnhardt scoring four points in the first jam, and fellow DRDC jammers Kate Gnash and Havoc Moon making the bout 10–0 in the next two rounds. DRDC added to their lead following several hard falls and penalties, and ended the sixth jam leading 25–6, but the Vice Quads weren’t fazed.
“We went in with the idea that we would take the first few jams to suss out the DRDC’s strengths and strategies,” explained the Vice Quads’ Coach Ani Up. “After four jams we were like, ‘OK, that’s how they want to play? Let’s do this and see if we can mess with that.’ We weren’t worried about an early start; we were looking at the long haul.”
On the seventh jam, the Vice Quads’ jammer Payne Addams ran circles around DRDC’s blockers, cutting Quincy’s lead to 37–19, and Carrie A. Chainsaw added to the score in the next jam.
The Vice Quads’ Chesty Pains started off strong in the next jam, but fell and had to leave the bout with a mild concussion, as well as shoulder and elbow injuries (she’s doing well now). “When Chesty went down and didn’t pop right back up, we all held our breath,” said Coach Ani Up. “She always pops up fast. Chesty is such a leader, making sure we all feel part of the team, it was hard to believe she could be hurt, much less out.”
With Gaya Jenda taking Chesty’s jammer spot, the Vice Quads began to mount a comeback, with Payne Addams scoring a grand slam in a power jam situation (with the DRDC jammer out because of a penalty), giving the Vice Quads their first lead of the bout at 47–39. Another lead jammer in the next round, along with excellent blocking by Punchwrap Supreme, helped the Quads sustain their lead.
In the last jam before the half, DRDC jammer Little Miss Vicious went to the bench with a penalty, giving Carrie A. Chainsaw a chance to add to the lead. At the half, the score was 84–60 in favor of the Vice Quads.
The second half started with DRDC securing the lead jammer spot in the first two rounds. In the third round, Gaya Jenda took advantage of a power jam, and despite some hard hits on both sides, she and Payne Addams added to the Vice Quads’ lead. Several other penalties took out over half of the Dark River team, with only two blockers in play at one point.
DRDC’s Havoc Moon scored a grand slam (making a full circle around the pack), scoring 13 points and cutting the Vice Quads’ lead to 131–94. Grand slams by Payne Addams and Gaya Jenda and blocking by Lil Booty Twoshoes, however, helped the Vice Quads keep the gap open. They retained their lead through the rest of the bout, never allowing the DRDC to score more than five points in each jam, and after two halves and 40 jams, the Vice Quads won the bout.
The victory was an exciting and bittersweet one for Coach Ani Up. It’s now the end of the season for the Vice Quads, and because they are TCDG’s rookie team, the players will be drafted next season to one of the three TCDG home teams (the ‘Paign, the Damagin’ Dames, or the Boneyard Bombshells). A new group of rookies will join the Vice Quads. “As the rookie coach, this is both my highlight and my heartbreak: My girls (and they are MY GIRLS!) are all going on to be drafted to the home teams,” she said. “So, to my heartbreak, I am not going to be their coach any longer. And to my great joy, I can’t wait to see the awesome stuff that they are going to go do!”
If Saturday’s bout is any indication, the Vice Quads team members will be strong and promising derby players next season, no matter where they’ll be playing.
While TCDG’s current season is over, they recently held tryouts and are working hard preparing for next year. Coach Ani Up is particularly excited about the prospect of a new season.
“I’m going to get the up and coming group of 20 new TCDG skaters and train them for world domination. Before long, THE WORLD WILL BE MINE. Um, I mean, I’m looking forward to the next season.”