The primary travel squad of the St. Chux Derby Chix, currently ranked # 56 internationally by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), hosts an extremely competitive invitational this weekend where outcomes will be pivotal for all those competing.
This Saturday and Sunday, the third installment of “Skate to Thrill” will be held at Matteson Square Garden (3051 Industrial Park Place, St. Peters, MO.) Thirteen WFTDA-sanctioned games are slated and the octet of leagues appearing will attempt to maintain, if not boost, their respective international rankings with the results.
The St. Charles County-based Pack in Black faces #42 Chicago Outfit and #64 Calgary on Saturday and tussles with #60 Ann Arbor on Sunday.
This will be the first set of WFTDA-sanctioned games that St. Chux will record in the ledger. The Pack in Black, who split its pair of exhibition contests held earlier in the calendar year, pummeled current #58 Demolition City by 227 points in February.
As expected, St. Chux can’t wait to flex its muscle on the flat-track. With its current rank of #56, the Pack in Black is designated as Division 2 in the WFTDA, earmarked for the leagues ranked #41 through #60 internationally. When the governing body’s set of rankings are released in early-July, those that make that respective cut will compete in the Division 2 post-season tournament held later in the summer.
If St. Chux wants to make it to that check point, a strong showing at home this weekend sets the tone.
“We finally get to play some games that will either hurt or help our ranking,” said SCDC captain Jedi Knight-N-Gale. “It’s kind of scary, but that’s why we’re here…so we’re excited. Let’s do it!”
Alongside the captain, jamming will be paced by Pixie Dust-Ruction, Conner and Sha’Killa. Blocking will be handled by veterans Whip L’Ash, Tara Eyes, Zo. D. Axe, Slaughterhaus, Blue Collar Brawler, Big Red, Judy Boom, Zombie F-Bomb and 50 Shades of Pink.
In preparation for this weekend, the team has been focusing on utilizing methods that will result in quick strikes that lead to points collected while keeping the opposing jammers at bay.
“Offense for sure, particularly our transitions from defense to offense and vice versa,” said Knight-N-Gale, who netted 277 points collectively in the pair of pre-sanctioned games. “The faster we get those down, the better we are as a whole.”
None of the games will be easy this weekend for St. Chux as both lower-ranked Calgary and Ann Arbor have shown upward trajectories and higher-ranked Chicago Outfit has been a fixture of the Division 2 playoff cycle the last couple of seasons.
“We’re expecting our biggest challenge to be the Outfit,” assessed Knight-N-Gale. “They are ranked the highest of the teams we play, but we’re not taking anything for granted. Every bout is a new challenge.”
SCDC also has skaters Sp!ce Rack, Calamity Cat, Spill Murray, Brokedown Malice and Shiv’er Dance in its charter this weekend to support.
The weekend’s overall line-up of games and pairings is, by design, assembled to give all those competing either rankings stability or surges that can affect their own respective WFTDA post-season aspirations.
“I think we’ve done a good job at bringing a range of teams together and making match-ups that everyone can agree with and hopefully benefit from,” said Knight-N-Gale.
With strong showings this weekend at home, St. Chux can make the most out of opportunity.
A capsule preview of the other seven teams appearing at Skate to Thrill (in alphabetical order):
ANN ARBOR (WFTDA #60) – The entrant from Michigan (0-1) suffered a 244-139 defeat to higher-ranked Ohio on March 19 to launch its WFTDA-sanctioned season but possess numerous weapons, like veterans Slamlet, Bex, Slamuel L. Jackson and Fracture Mechanics, to notch a potential rankings’ upset this weekend. The “Derby Dimes” have games against hostesses St. Chux, Wasatch and Calgary during the invitational. Currently ranked at #60, Ann Arbor is currently on-the-bubble for potential Division 2 post-season placement this year, but with wins this weekend, or close differentials against higher-ranked teams in defeat, it can assist for an inaugural playoff trip.
CALGARY (WFTDA #64) – As the team with the lowest WFTDA rank heading into the weekend, the talented Albertans (0-0) launch their 2016 campaign at Skate To Thrill and aim to make a hard charge in Division 2 with its ensuing results. Co-captains sin-e-star and Lucy Flawless paces a very experienced crew. They have a line-up of games against higher-ranked St. Chux, Wasatch and Ann Arbor this weekend. Don’t be surprised if this smart team can’t net a pair of rankings’ upsets this weekend by capitalizing on oppositions’ mistakes.
CHICAGO OUTFIT (WFTDA #42) – The Illinoisans (0-0) finished fourth at last year’s WFTDA Division 2 playoff round in Michigan and look to maintain traction in the rankings. Syndicate captain Lola Blow propels the offense in the jammer position while returning vets Matza Ball Breaker, Ice Hurt, Nikita, Pain Gwen, Lindiana Jones and Shebiscuit assist. With games against No Coast, Ohio and St. Chux on the docket, the mafia looks to put concrete shoes on the opposition and solidify placement in the upper echelon of Division 2, if not make a hard push to Division 1 status. The rankings’ side-by-side game vs. Ohio might be arguably “the one to watch” this weekend.
HOUSTON (WFTDA #44) – The Texans (0-0) finished fourth at last year’s WFTDA Division 2 playoff round in Cleveland and the goal at Matteson is a desired sweep. Co-captains 2 x Force and Jekyll & Heidi lead a squad that racked up a 175-point per game average in 2015. A competitive weekend is constructed with games against No Coast, Ohio and Wasatch on the ledger. This pesky team is more than likely to give its opposition a case of the sour belches this weekend. A 2-1 finish this weekend would be ideal and a close contest, win or lose, against considerably higher-ranked No Coast might potentially push this team into Division 1 status. In short, Houston has everything to gain this weekend.
NO COAST (WFTDA #25) – The highest-ranked WFTDA league at this weekend’s donnybrook finished sixth at last September’s Division 1 playoff round in Omaha. The squad from Lincoln, Nebraska (0-0) has games against lower-ranked Ohio, Chicago Outfit and Houston on the schedule. A plethora of veterans are listed in the line-up, paced by Christy Johnson, Anna Cassube, Andrea Tarnick and Beth Kempf. If they finish the weekend with a sweep with dominating differentials, and that’s very likely, they will maintain traction for another potential Division 1 post-season appearance.
OHIO (WFTDA #41) – Ohio saw a ten-position drop this week in the WFTDA rankings and now finds themselves in Division 2, so a strong weekend is imperative here if it wishes to return to familiar territory. Continuing its historical “play anyone at anytime, anywhere” mentality, OHRD (2-0) already has wins over Ann Arbor and Ithaca recorded, so the team is already competing at a higher levels than others taking to the flat-track for the first time this weekend. This is going to be very beneficial to the long-tenured franchise. Jammers The Smacktivist and Zee “Loraine Acid” Gulertekin propels the offense while veteran blockers Bigg Rigg, Kitty Liquorbottom, Lora “Outa My” Wayman and others sets the blocking walls. Games against No Coast, Chicago Outfit and Houston are on the schedule and if they grab the win with higher-ranked No Coast on Saturday morning, and who’s to say that they can’t, a three-game sweep is set in its sights.
WASATCH (WFTDA #51) – The Midnight Terror (0-0) from Salt Lake City, Utah finished fifth at the WFTDA 2 playoff round in Detroit last year and launches its 2016 campaign this weekend. Calgary, Houston and Ann Arbor are on the slate. Veterans Penny Slain, Bruiser Ego, Wreckless, Mad-Eye Molly, Colonel Skirts are focal points of a squad that ended last year’s post-season run with three straight solid wins in the consolation bracket. A 2-1 finish, providing they handle the lower-ranked squads they face this weekend, is possible if it plays disciplined and clean. A sweep that includes a triumph over higher-ranked Houston will result in its infamous mascot, Sassy Sasquatch, doing cartwheels on the Matteson Square Garden sport court, which will be worth the price of admission alone.
A single day pass is $15 while a weekend pass is $25. Children 12 and under get in free.
For more information on the St. Chux Derby Chix, go to stchuxderbychix.com.
2016 SKATE TO THRILL
MATTESON SQUARE GARDEN – ST. PETERS, MO
SATURDAY, APRIL 9
9 AM – Houston vs. Wasatch
10:45 AM – No Coast vs. Ohio
12:30 PM – ST. CHUX vs. Chicago Outfit
2:30 PM – Calgary vs. Ann Arbor
4:15 PM – Houston vs. Ohio
6 PM – Ann Arbor vs. Wasatch
7:45 PM – ST. CHUX vs. Calgary
SUNDAY, APRIL 10
9 AM – Chicago Outfit vs. No Coast
10:45 AM – Wasatch vs. Calgary
12:30 PM – ST. CHUX vs. Ann Arbor
2:30 PM – No Coast vs. Houston
4:15 PM – Ohio vs. Chicago Outfit