Smile Politely

TCDG season opener delivers

Last Saturday’s season opener for the Twin City Derby Girls (TCDG) promised several new changes to the way Champaign-Urbana does derby. With their first double-header, a new venue, and a packed season ahead, TCDG delivered a night derby-goers won’t soon forget.

Bout 1

The first bout of the double-header pitted The ‘Paign against the McLean County Missfits at the UI Ice Arena in TCDG’s first interleague bout. The smooth cement surface of the arena provided much less traction than the previous Savoy Rec Center venue, leading to huge spills and further-flying hits than last year’s bouts. It’s for this reason the “suicide seats,” located directly on the floor around the track, are reserved for those over 18, or those looking to brag about a skate-inflicted spectator wound.

After an exciting start, The ‘Paign quickly began out-jamming their competition, with Jammers Delta Badhand, Chiquita Bandita, Therafist and Godbee With Ya each speeding through the pack and wracking up points before the Missfits even knew what hit them. Both halves of the bout flew by, not only because the derby gals were literally flying over the track, but because The ‘Paign demonstrated new strategies that pulled them ahead of the competition.

The team didn’t win any official matchups last year, so it was with great surprise that they smashed the Missfits 159–53. Coach Rice A Horni credited the team’s hard work at practice and new attention to detailed teamwork:

We were really excited to play, especially on this smooth, fast floor. TCDG’s travel team scrimmaged the Missfits, but The ‘Paign had not played them before. We were excited to come out, give it our best, and both teams did that tonight. The ‘Paign were executing plays they’ve been working on since last season and came together with every player on the team working toward that win. This season [fans] can expect more of the same of what [they] saw tonight — coordinated plays, teamwork, playing with more strategy, and most importantly, having fun!

The opposing team’s MVP, Malice Cullen said that despite the loss, the Missfits enjoyed being a part of TCDG’s season opener: “It’s wonderful … we’d actually come down to scrimmage before and some of the TCDGers come up and play us. The crowd was amazing — it was a nice intimate space, a little smaller than we’ve played before, so it was nice to have people so close in the suicide seats. It was great to visit and we hope to come through again!”

The Missfits further commended The ‘Paign on their website, admiring TCDG’s hard hits and unbreakable walls. They also celebrate ‘Paign MVP Sasha Smashmouth for her ability to effortlessly knock opponents head-over-skates.


Bout 2

Last October, TCDG’s other two teams, the Boneyard Bombshells and the then-new Damagin’ Dames struggled in an all-out battle to decide who would close the first derby season as champions. The Bombshells had beat The ‘Paign in the very first bout of the year, and the Dames had won their premiere bout against The ‘Paign in August, so TCDG fans had no idea who would take home bragging rights in the first season’s final matchup. The Bombshells ended up damaging the Dames in last season’s final bout, so the re-match between the two TCDG teams in Saturday’s second-season opener was guaranteed to be intense.

The derby girls started off big with star Jammers Houchebag (Bombshells) and Oh No Bobo (Dames) going head-to-head immediately. The Dames were up 4–2 after the first jam, and the bout’s high-speed energy didn’t slow down until the half-time whistle. By then, Houche and Bobo had each scored several points in some tough plays, and Dames’ Sweet Dee Jenrett and Bombshells’ Cheriff O’ Swattingjam helped bring the score to 78–67 with Dames leading at the half.

The second half brought a few more twists as quite a few Dames spent time in the penalty box and the Bombshells were able to gain some ground on the scoreboard. Oh No Bobo would step in to help the Dames keep the Bombshells on their toes, but Bombshell pivot Heidi Slice held her ground and kept Bobo at bay. The score continued to jump back-and-forth as both teams tried to tough it out through the final Jams. Surprisingly, the Bombshells pulled ahead in the last few minutes and were able to hold off the Dames to complete another victory. The final score of 172–129 marks the Bombshells’ third intra-league bout and their third win.

Want more derby?

TCDG has a packed calendar with several double-headers and travel bouts coming up quickly, and if Saturday’s bouts were any indication of what’s to come this season, you won’t want to miss out. Tickets are already on sale for their June 4th bout, which will pit the undefeated Boneyard Bombshells against an outside team and let the Dames take on the ‘Paign for another interleague matchup. Get more information about a derby-filled summer here.

Twin City Derby Girls 2011

All photos by Laura Fitch and Alex Wild (mouse-hover distinguishes each photographer).

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