Eight-wheeled action returns to Queeny Park this weekend as Arch Rival Roller Derby (ARCH) and GateKeepers Roller Derby (GKRD) launches their respective 2016-17 local campaigns Saturday night at Midwest Sport Hockey (510 Weidman Rd., Ballwin, MO.)
Each league’s flat-track series of seven home events begins at 6:30 pm and opens with a women’s re-match of last season’s ARCH finale as the defending champions, the Stunt Devils, tangles with runner-ups, the M-80s. That contest will be followed by the GKRD men’s meeting between the Central West Friends and the Creve Coroners, who respectively placed second and third in last season’s “Turf Wars” series.
Per custom, a six-event regular season will find each league’s three local squads competing in head-to-head battles and, with its conclusion, the top two teams in the standings will face off in separate women’s and men’s championship games held April 2017.
But let’s go back to the here and now and Saturday’s pairings. The Stunt Devils claimed back-to-back ARCH titles with its win over the M-80s in April and aims to set the tone for a potential “three-peat.”
The intensity that was found in the trophy tussle is expected to return but there’s an added twist as some skaters from both squads have adopted new “nom de skates” compared to the season prior.
For the defending queen pin Stunt Devils, jamming will be led by returning veterans Bricktator, Beaver Knievel and Pyschokid D’ Freakout. Blockers Shera-Ra Powers, Cruella Belle-ville, Soundproof, Hardcore Parkour, Fletch, Aggie Wartooth, Pegasass and Violet Opposition are projected to lay down the foundation. Newcomers Nox, Scars and Stripes, Goldie Blocks, Bruise, Ophelia Bottoms and Wonder Thighs are also expected to thrill audiences this season.
For the red-flanneled M-80s’ “lumberjills,” a logjam of new names spills into the charter due to skater re-branding. Jamming will be paced by veteran Shoulder, Colorado as well as Twig E. Smalls, Branch Devereaux and BEECH, PLEASE!!! Setting up the walls for scoring will be anchored by blockers Fir Serious?!, Axe & Kitties, Lumberjam, Ginger, Pine As Buck, Chop Like It’s Hot, Snoop Dogwood, Jenny Loggins, MegaBirch, Fiona Crabapple and Sequoia Destroya.
Whew! One has to refer to a scorecard for all of Saturday’s name changes. Yet, one thing’s for sure, expect the women’s opener to be extremely competitive given the long-tenured rivalry between the pair.
In Saturday’s men’s nightcap, the Central West Friends finished last season as the 2016 “Turf Wars” runner-up via its title game setback against the Raiders of Forest Park and crave an early push in the GKRD standings.
Jamming will be paced by Bower Ranger and The Great Stromboli while blocking is anchored by Perc In Boots, SoGo, Cpt. Kramerica, Poppa Choppa, Last Rites, Fruit Wall-Up and Monster Jam. Newcomers HEYNONGMAN and Thrillho make their GKRD debuts this season.
Meanwhile, the Creve Coroners are ready to claim its first win of the season as jammers Magnum P.I.M.P., Sir Nixalot and Cat Daddy are anchored by the veteran blocking schema of Double Excel, Boney Fangers, Hulk, The Doc, Irving, O’ Connell, Specs Offender and Otter Nonsense.
The hard-hitting men’s throw down is anticipated to be a topsy-turvy affair and whoever claims the “W” Saturday night will have certainly earned it.
Tickets for the doubleheader are $10 while children 10 and under get in free.
Arch City Sports will be in attendance at Saturday’s season-opener and will have a full report on Sunday.