Join us on March 8th! Door open at 1:00 PM! Contract your friendly Derby Girl or stop by one of our practices to buy your tickets! Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday 6:45 to 8:45 PM at the track behind Meerscheidt Rec Center.
I’ve been involved with Crossroads City Derby’s Fresh Meat training for about a year. It’s been an experience, watching young skaters grow into tough derby girls. It is just as much fun for me as it is for the skaters involved. Fresh Meat training lasts for 12 weeks. During this time skaters learn the basics to thrive in the wonderful world of roller derby. Skills include proper skating technique like skating posture, stops, speed and agility. They receive the skills to perform safely in the sport. Skaters are also given tests along the way to quiz their understanding of the rules set by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). These tests are administered by our volunteer referees. Preparing a Fresh Meat Boot Camp is a lot of work. Coaches and skaters come together and help out in every way possible. Everyone strives to make Fresh Meat a positive and fun time for the new skaters.
New skaters are split into three categories based on their skating abilities: beginner (Oh-my-gosh-I-don’t-even-know-how-to-skate!), intermediate (I’ve skated before but it’s been a while), and advanced (I can skate circles around people but I know nothing of derby). All skaters start off with the same training. Intermediate and advanced have an opportunity to test out at six weeks and become part of the league. Skaters are not eligible to join the league without passing all of the skills that are required. Non-contact skaters are also welcome. They are able to participate in the training and become part of the league for fitness skating. They may enjoy the other aspects of our derby league such as volunteering at derby fundraisers and bouts. They are valuable members of our derby family and are a tremendous help.
When I began participating in the Fresh Meat program, I was able to experience the different levels of skaters. I remember the first day of training I had to hold one of the girls up as she skated around the track so she wouldn’t tumble to the ground. This particular skater is now able to skate on her own and I was able to witness her confidence soar through the derby roof!!
Fresh Meat is a great way for people who want to stay active in a fun way and have the opportunity to get or stay in shape. The friends you make will extend beyond the track. The league has a family feel and is very accepting of people with different personalities and backgrounds. I was lucky enough to watch the prospective skaters in last year’s boot camp integrate into the league and make their own places amongst the league.
At times the training can be difficult and frustrating for new skaters. But coaches and fellow skaters are there to push the girls along by being supportive and teaching them tricks to be better skaters. Many times I saw Fresh Meat skaters attempting laps or some other skill, while the whole league cheered them on. After it was finished these skaters were bombarded with hugs and smiles whether they passed or not. The league has quality coaches to help the girls along the way to becoming skaters in the league. They are helpful, informative and never afraid to get out there and demonstrate a T-stop or transition.
I value the experiences and relationships I’ve formed in this league and look forward to future Fresh Meat Boot Camps. Seeing the girls leave Fresh Meat and become derby skaters is a great feeling. Watching them skate with the league and thinking, “Hey, I helped her get there’ is a very rewarding feeling!! Viva La Derby!!
Fresh Meat Coach
This will be my first entry for a web post about some very interesting “firsts” I’ve experienced over the past year.
Starting in January I came out to the track, not knowing a single soul. I was shy and completely intimidated. This would be the first time I wore a pair of skates in my life but luckily these girls were more than welcoming and willing to teach me. I went from just practicing getting up, standing, and falling down… to getting up, moving forward, holding on to the wall occasionally, and of course, more falling…
Months of “Fresh Meat” training went by and these faces were no longer strangers. I was no longer a shy person (on and off the track) and I was getting hit and battered and bruised by these women. During this time I had learned to skate and passed a minimal skills requirement test set by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). Then I was drafted to be an official Crossroads City Derby doll (CCD) and became a part of one of our three home teams: the Reguladies! I had never felt so accomplished… until I was told I will be experiencing another first, along with some my fellow “Freshies.”
My First Bout
“Bouting” is exactly what it sounds like. Just like in boxing, we are trained to hit and take hits. And this “Fresh Meat” training was about to prove its purpose. It was that time of the year to celebrate our Whole Enchilada Festival. And every year for this event, CCD takes the whole league and divides them in half and assigns them to either the Red Chile team or the Green Chile team. (I was assigned to the Green Chile team.) Being raised an as athlete and competitor, I am not normally a nervous competitor. But this is still brand new to me. Skating still is not natural to me. These women eat and train like athletes. They have been skating longer than me by years. They are older than I am. But most of all: they still intimidate me.
So I get to the track early, my heart pounding. Not sure whether to warm up early or wait until my teammates start to show up to the track. Honestly, I do not know what to think at this point. Then it dawns on me: This sport takes more team work than any sport I have ever played. My teammates will know exactly how to help me out on the track! So I gear up and get my game face on. At this point I’m ready to rumble! Competition runs through these women’s’ veins but it also runs through mine. THIS is what got me hooked on this sport in the first place.
The referees check our gear, check the track, and make sure everything and everyone is safe to start. I get on the track. My mind clears out. Then the first whistle blows and at this point I am somewhat freaking out again. I feel inadequate as a skater because I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. I keep getting hit and falling down. I keep falling behind these women all sprinting, and I’m not fast enough to catch up quickly. I’m thinking, I’m letting my team down! Then a veteran skater hits me and I fall but not all the way. I’m able to balance on one skate, tap my knee pad to the concrete and within a split second I’m back on two feet. At this point I realized all of my hard work and dedication has paid off. I have done it all to reach my goal of becoming a derby girl. I learned how to skate, how to take hits, and how the game works. But most of all I know I owe my gratitude towards the women and men of Crossroads City Derby. All of the extra time they have spent specifically on me has paid off. I am so grateful for such amazing coaches and teachers, and of course, teammates. I officially feel like a derby girl.
So altogether we played four 30 minute scrimmages over two days that weekend. The last bout for the weekend was the most exciting. The Green Chile team was down 2 games to 1 and a win here would tie us up. At the last jam the score was 43-45 with Red team in the lead. The jam starts and penalties are being issued left and right. Every player is skating hard and then the final whistle blows. GREEN TEAM WINS BY 2 POINTS!
All in all, we tied at 2-2. I have never felt such a strong competitive vibe from fans, bystanders, family, teammates, or a league in its entirety.
And for all of these “firsts” I have experienced the last nine and a half months, my first bouts were an experience of a lifetime. As a rookie skater, I can see why these 30+ women (and several men) have worked so hard to stay here to create and make up what we know as the Crossroads City Derby league of little Las Cruces, New Mexico. There WILL be more bouts to come, you have my word.
With Derby Love,
Nurse Hell-Doll #224
The roller derby community is all about spreading the “derby love.” Derby sisters (and brothers!) step up to help one another in our grassroots sport. On November 9th 2013, the derby love was strong as three teams made their way to Alamogordo, New Mexico to help Derbal Remedy Roller Derby produce their first roller derby bout.
Skaters from Crossroads City Derby, El Paso Roller Derby and Clovis’ Dirty Curry Prairie Dolls came together with Alamogordo’s Derbal Remedy Roller Derby for the “Get Your Derby 101” Mash-Up at the Tays Center at NMSU-Alamogordo Campus. Team Black (with Malibully Barbie from Derbal Remedy as Captain) and Team White (with Toxic Ash from Derbal Remedy as Captain) gave the standing-room-only crowd a taste of roller derby and let them see what their hometown team was capable of doing.
This bout was something I have waited for since I first got on skates. The excitement leading up to this game was crazy. DRRD has worked hard to find a way to bring roller derby to the masses and it proved to be very successful. After two years of hard work, I was able to invite my friends (the few I have whom are not derby players), co-workers, and other random people to see me and my team play the game that has captured my heart. Four of my teammates (Mockingbird Pain, Low Brawler, Bomb Loader Bettie and Cap’n Punch Berries) got to experience playing derby for the first time in front of a home crowd. These girls did a fantastic job and got to see how their hard work paid off. My fantastic coach and friend, Coach Coco, was able to see his skaters play at home, a dream that he and I have had for quite some time. The game was fast and hard hitting with both teams battling back and forth in an amazing match. In the end, Team White was able to squeak out a win over Team Black in this very close game.
What commenced after the bout was an amazing night of bonding between derby families. We laughed, reminisced, talked derby, jam skated, and just had an overall good time celebrating roller derby coming to Alamogordo.
While the game was nothing short of awesome, it would never have been possible without the amazing people that have helped DRRD to get to where we are. Since we got off the ground in late 2011, other teams have stepped up to help us out. CCD has been amazing to us in inviting us to come down and scrimmage on multiple occasions, sending skaters to hold clinics for us, and even helping to ensure we would have refs for our games. Anytime I have had a question about anything derby related (gear, rules, strategy, etc.) and someone from my own team doesn’t have the answer, I just ask a derby sister/brother from another team and they are always willing to help out. As The Beatles would say “I get by with a little help from my friends…” The derby love is strong in Southern New Mexico (and neighboring Texas) and this little derby team from Alamogordo appreciates it all.
Toxic Ash #87
Derbal Remedy Roller Derby
It was August 30th, a whole caravan met up at The Bean to make their way to a tournament we were invited to called the “Labor Pain Invitational” hosted by San Diego Roller Derby. This was an exclusive six team tournament featuring some of the best “B” teams in the Southwest As we laughed, hydrated, made some pit stops (In & Out Burger) Jesus H. Coach lead us into the beautiful city of San Diego.
This all felt like a dream I was in, skating for three years now I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to journey this far playing this fantastic sport. We arrived Friday evening checking into our hotel, shortly after headed to dinner near the beach. After dinner, we were all so excited to be there. We walked over to the beach and sunk our feet in the sand while the chilly water rolled over our toes. Knowing we had to be up early for our first bout the next morning ZDestroYa, Fearless Foxy Fighter and I were just so excited for what this Labor Day weekend would have in store for us.
Saturday Morning we get ready and mosey on over to “Skate World.” Opening Ceremonies begin. Crossroads is up against Resurrection Roller Girls from Sonoma County CA. These six bouts were all thirty minute bouts with no half times. They move fast and are intense. The first time I go in to block my whole body is shaking from the adrenaline, then suddenly I get hit from the other teams blockers I snap out of it and was ready! Resurrection put up a good fight and won 102-56. We are a strong willed group of women and didn’t let that bout get our hopes down, I mean here we are from little ol’ Las Cruces playing against “big city” leagues that have hundreds of women in their leagues.
As we get over our nerves and regroup its time to gear up again and go up against Ventura County Derby Darlin’s“Battalion of Skates.” We were warmed up and ready.Fatal Mishtake jammed her heart out along with The Venomous DeMilo, and General Grant Slam. Our final score was indeed a victory with a win of 105-6. Now we knew this wasn’t the end, but we were done for the day. We then celebrated our first win of the tournament at a little Pho restaurant around the corner of the venue. We chowed down some noodles and recapped the two bouts we just went through.
As we head back to the hotel some rested, and some went sightseeing. The Venomous DeMilo and Pep agreed to take the lovely KrusHer, Fearless Foxy Fighter, Z DestroYa and I to the beach. We walked down the boardwalk along Ocean Beach and watched the ocean come to life when we meet a sea lion at the end waiting for fish. It was a hot and very humid day so we wandered around the beach and sat at a local restaurant that over looked the beach. Soon Pep needed to be at another venue to help ref another bout that wasn’t part of the tournament. So we waved him and Venom off and ran to the ocean. The first ten minutes we giggled and screamed jumping into the water getting tangled in seaweed and just having the time of our lives.
Sunday morning we had three bouts ahead of us. We were all at the venue surrounded by derby. Our first bout started at 10 am against San Diego Roller Derby, I was a little intimidated at first, playing against these ladies on their home hardwood floors. As we battled it out, we were on fire, and played so well together. The game’s final score was another win for us; 142-39. We were feeling so good and having fun! There was one bout in between the next one we were in, so we took a little time to get refreshed and headed back to the track.
Next we took on Border City Roller Girls from Yuma, AZ. They had a very short roster, and the few that did travel to the tournament were fairly new to the sport. They surely didn’t show it. They played hard and gave it their all. In the end, the score was CCD 138 to BCRD 80.
We had a few hours to eat and get some rest. So we head to lunch and go back to the hotel to rest and refresh then we play the last team up for the championships.Angel City Road Ragers, from LA meets us back at Skateworld. We wait for the doors to open and we are all determined. This was a rough bout. Bubble Viscous from Angel City was unstoppable but we battled on and on. This bout felt like the longest even though it was the same as all the others. It was neck n neck towards the end. As our jammers were getting thrown in the penalty box, we ran out of time. Unfortunately we lost this bout and it was a little disappointing but we were still in the running for third place!
Angel City’s Road Ragers won their last bout against CCD 99-64, so the final brackets were set. Monday morning the Championship bouts would start and they would all be full bouts. Resurrection would face Angel City Road Ragers for first and second place, and San Diego Derby Girls and Crossroads City would go head to head for third and fourth place.
We were all so happy to make it as far as we did and we weren’t ready to give up. Third place was going to be ours! My first thought was “we already beat this team, how hard could it be to do it again?” I was underestimating them. This was their home town and they weren’t ready to give up either. They even had the famous Hockey Honey helping bench coach. We kept our spirits high warming up to the chicken dance! First whistle blows the first jam starts. We score a little they score a little… By half time San Diego is ahead by 21 points. Right after half time we start taking lead over and over bringing up the score. The fabulous Racky Balboa took lead jammer a few times and was a jamming superstar! All the endurance coach has us do started to really pay off. Finally the last jam only, seconds left on the clock and General Grant Slam Takes the lead and calls it off. And just like that Crossroads City Derby that won third place with the 237-169 win over San Diego. I had so many emotions I didn’t know whether to cry, scream, or laugh. I just smiled so big and I still am to this day.
With so much excitement and pride we get our trophy.Our very own Goldy Blocks wins MVP blocker of the whole weekend! I’m so grateful that I had been given the opportunity to be there. I was so proud of us. While they start announcing raffle prizes we all listened in to see who gets the brand new Reidell blue streaks with Venus plates; a sweet set up worth at least six hundred dollars! Our very own amazing BiPolar Bear is announced! This gave our whole team more excitement because someone we skate with that needed a new set up actually won it! I was honored to be invited to skate with these amazing ladies and to represent our league so far away. Being around so much derby all weekend really showed me how lucky I am to be a part of this amazing league. My derby sisters and I had a journey of a lifetime and will never forget!
-Lady Longlegs, #8
Team USA tryouts were held at three different locations, with the final location in Seattle on August 12. When I first saw the posting for tryouts, I thought it would be an opportunity to grow and learn as a skater; an opportunity to see first hand what the top level skaters were doing, and what expectations were for Team USA skaters. I decided to keep the thought of actually attending the tryouts in the back of my mind before totally committing. I’m not sure what made me finally decide, but I made the leap and registered on line. Over the next several months, I went back and forth on whether I’d made the right decision, as well as questioning my own abilities. Ultimately I made the decision to think positive and commit 100%. I increased my time at the gym, lifted weights regularly, and started off-skate plyos (plyometric exercises). A fellow skater, Rx Bex, was also making the trip to Seattle, and we worked together to motivate and encourage one another.
We arrived in Seattle and were excited to learn that Denver, Gotham, and Rat City were playing some scrimmage games that weekend at the Rat’s Nest (Rat City’s practice venue). We awaited the arrival of one of our past league members, Barbie Bombshell, who was also attending tryouts. The three of us reunited and headed straight to the Rat’s Nest hoping to catch part of the Rat City and Denver game. We were lucky enough to be able to watch the second half of the game, which also gave us the chance to check out the venue where tryouts would be held. It was difficult to keep my nerves in check! I was watching top players compete against one another, and was sitting in an audience with other top skaters from the team who had won the past two Hydra trophies — now three in a row!
When the game ended, we went out and feasted on some delicious pasta before heading to our room for a good night’s rest. First we did a little skate maintenance, but soon we nodded off with dreams of red, white, and blue dancing in our heads. In the morning we were ready to see what the day would hold. We arrived at the venue to wait in the line with approximately 100-150 other skaters to get registered. First they took our photos, then we put on our assigned colors, geared up, and jumped on the track for a little warm-up. It was a little difficult skating simply due to the sheer number of skaters on the track. The whistle blew promptly at 10am, and everyone stopped to wait for instructions. Over the next couple of hours we were led through drills to assess our endurance, agility, skill level, ability to work together, and leadership skills. It was an awesome experience to be paired in a blocking drill with Rivas or Mick Swagger, like Bex and I were able to do. Too soon it was time for a lunch break, and a cut to be made for what would be the final round of tryouts: a scrimmage of black versus white. Bex, Barbie, and I were proud of our performances, yet we were pretty sure we would not make the final cut with the likes of Bonnie Thunders, Suzy Hot Rod, Scald Eagle, Rivas, Serelson, Mick Swagger, OMG WTF, Mercy, Sexy Sladie, and Smarty Pants (just to name a few) in the running for a 28-32 skater scrimmage roster. An announcement was made that they were having a difficult time trimming down the number of skaters, so we were forced to wait even longer! In the end we did not make the final cut, but we stayed and watched one of the most amazing scrimmages with an unbelievable roster. Of the final 32 skaters on the 2014 Team USA roster, 19 of them attended the tryouts in Seattle with us, so I feel my goal of being able to evaluate myself in comparison to top level skaters was reached. I was able to make a list of skills that to work on for the 2014 season.
Tryouts were finished, and since we were in Seattle, we decided that we had earned some time as tourists. Our first stop was food! We walked down to Pike’s Peak Market and indulged in clam chowder, pasta, Italian cream sodas, and some local beer. We took in the sights down at the market, watched some fish tossing, and listened to some local musicians. We walked to the Space Needle, did some souvenir shopping for family and friends, and took a trip to the top of the Space Needle for lots of photos. We grabbed some more delicious food and drinks, then continued our Seattle tour. At the waterfront that evening, we enjoyed a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel that gave us an incredible view of the skyline and city lights. Between walking all over Seattle and our four hour Team USA tryout, we were exhausted and decided it was time to end our Seattle Adventure. It was definitely an experience I will not soon forget.
-Goldy Blocks, 3BRS
A main attraction of RollerCon is the opportunity to participate in challenge bouts. What are challenge bouts? Put simply, they’re shortened bouts that have a fun theme. The bouts are only half an hour with no halftime and you accrue four penalties before being ejected. The bout themes are anything from the semi-serious challenge (Team NM vs Team Utah) to the flippant (Team Trueblood vs Team Twilight). RollerCon 2013 saw gnomes, gingers, beards, countries, and comic book characters play for thirty minutes at a time with a mix of skaters from around the globe in sex-specific or coed bouts; all in good sportsmanship and humor.
While skaters do have to sign up beforehand for themed bouts, their organization is somewhat chaotic depending on when the challenge bout is scheduled. For instance, bouts scheduled for the last day of RollerCon or that compete with popular social events (Black and Blue Ball) will see more last-minute recruits than skaters that signed up for the bout early on.
Since you can jump onto a roster 20 minutes before a bout start means you should carry a variety of colored tops and have a sharpie handy to scribble someone else’s number onto your shirt or (in the case of several of us jumping onto the Colonies vs Brits bout) roll up your shirt/skate in a sports bra and sharpie the number right onto your back. Last minute add ins also means you could end up being a brunette playing for team Blonds or, as Ginja and Goldy found out, you can be a red head and a blond on team Cholas sporting khaki shorts and red shirts with sharpied-on tear drops to fit the theme.
This year also saw the opportunity for assigned bouts where you submit your name and skill level into a virtual hat and you’re chosen for a team on a given day/time.
The best part? You play with a variety of players. And I mean not just from a different state or country. I mean you get to play with some pretty big names. How many times will I ever get to play against Kim Janna or block for Ehrma Gerd? Our league was able to play with and against some of the top skaters in this sport. And whether you had your lunch handed to you or you took them out in style, the fact is that skating with talent makes you better.
Almost nothing beats hearing a player yelling at the first five seats “Next five!” signaling the start of a new jam and a new mix of players ready to take the track and fight for the honor of Spock, over the shoulder boulders or mustaches.
-Hell Paseo #7
Rink Rash Revolutionaries, Sucias, Team Cholas, Team NM, Team Skankles, Team Borderland, Team Colonies, Team Desert Rats and Team Lipstick Lesbians
For the fourth year in a row, The Venomous Dimilo and I loaded up the Venom-mobile and traveled through the desert in search of skating, debauchery, insight, and networking (ahem…partying) with the derby world. We traveled through the Joshua Tree Forest and over theHoover Dam eagerly anticipating all that Sin City had to offer us during Rollercon 2013. This year Fatal Mishtake, Captain Howdy, and one brave ref suffered through the grueling ride with us. Rollercon has become quite the myriad of traditions for many of us. Hitting In-N-Out Burger in Arizona, meeting for Vietnamese food on the first floor of Treasure Island, skating the strip, and happy hour atop the Stratosphere are just a few events that have become Las Vegas staples for us during this annual conference.
Rollercon 2013 boasted 5,000 skaters and spectators from around the globe, 17 of which were CCD members! Skaters travel looking to improve their technique, learn how to improve the functioning of their league, and best of all play some derby! Challenge bouts have become much more intense over the years. The athleticism exhibited by skaters is nothing short of amazing. Some noteworthy bouts this year include Cholas vs. Chongas (featuring our very own Hell Paseo, Goldy Blocks, and Ginja Snap),Vagine Ragime vs. Caulksuckers (which is basically a showcase of the fiercest female athletes derby has to offer all on one track), Denver Roller Dolls vs. Arch Rival Roller Girls which kept us at the edge of our seats, and No Soul Gingers vs. Yellow Fever (showcasing our very own Jesus H. Coach)! My favorite moment? During Borderland vs. Heartland there was a three second period when Rx Bex and I held off Death By Chocolate during a power jam and while it was a brief… it felt like WINNING!
Rollercon not only gives us the opportunity to watch some of our favorite skaters on the track it offers the opportunity to skate right alongside them and perhaps even share a bit of airspace as we all shuffle along the never ending hallways of the Riviera Hotel and Casino. This year CCD skaters proudly stalked and skated alongside great names like Demanda Riot, Suzy Hotrod, Amanda Jamitinya, Scald Eagle, Serelson, Tara Armov, and my personal favorite… Buns of Fury. Seeing derby idols wait in line for coffee, stroll the corridors, and take the track with or against you is like a tiny piece of heaven for most of us derby fanatics. Skating alongside 5,000 women and men who take to the pavement on quad skates abusing their bodies, pushing their own physical limitations, and skating five on five just like we do back in little old Las Cruces is enough to put everyone on a long time derby high.
The most important lesson I took from this year’s conference is that Crossroads City Derby is a force to be reckoned with. While I loved watching the big names do their thing on the track, I loved even more watching Racky Balboa take out a guy twice her size. I swooned when General Grant Slam busted through the strongest four wall I’ve ever seen and flew through to the other side like a gazelle. I was overcome with pride watching The Venomous Dimilo jam like a beast on her sturdy Cankles showing the Skankles team what superior ankles should really look like. I cherished watching the infectious smiles on Nikki Six Shooter and Boozeberry Pie’s faces as we sat down to dinner following their first skate down the strip. Mostly though, I loved watching how other people watched us… and wondered how we could possibly love each other this much! While I’ve always felt that the women of CCD are bonded in a special way, it was nice to look around and know I am not the only one who feels the derby love we share.
Puncher Villa #1919
Crossroads City Derby President
When we were told the Sucias would be participating in the San Angelo tournament on August 17 we were thrilled. It was going to be a derby filled couple of months but the more play time the better. The week before the tournament a family emergency called our coach, Jesus H. Coach, and captain, General Grant Slam, away. Worry and fear for our leaders and the struggles they were facing spread like wildfire through the league. In true derby fashion several skaters stepped up to fill in by running practice and assuring everyone that we were going to work harder than ever to prepare for the tournament. In that same week more tragedy struck as our beloved BoozeBerry Pie broke her arm during a scrimmage. Our hearts were further dampened.
We continued on, practiced hard, and nervously prepared for the upcoming tournament. It was not until the president of our great league offered to coach us in San Angelo that we calmed down enough to regain clarity of mission.Puncher Villa stepped up and not only kept us reassured and focused but also showed every participant in the tournament what true professionalism looks like. I am certain that no one, especially the refs, anticipated that the hundred pound Pantene model on the sideline was our fiercest asset. She educated the refs from the “box of shame” with an unparalleled confidence. Our tournament started out with an inspirational talk from La Punch. She told us she had just spoken to our captain and coach and they were heartbroken to not be with us. She told us that the people we trust most in this world fought hard to get us ready for this tournament. She reminded us that we are never alone with our sisters on the track. We knew what needed to be done. We knew that perhaps winning this tournament would bring a smile to the face of someone lying in a hospital bed fighting cancer hundreds of miles away, if only for a minute. So we tied purple ribbons to our helmets and did what we do.
We got first in the tournament and left one hell of an impression. I wish I could don my sports commentator alter ego now and tell you about specifically epic plays that occurred, or regale you with details of all the heroism I witnessed. Unfortunately, I have long suffered from derby amnesia. I would like to say it is due to being hyper focused on the task at hand when I am in the game but I believe it is my fear induced adrenaline shock that deletes the details. The one detail burned into my brain from our San Angelo adventure is that we did indeed bring a smile to the face of the now dubbed “Quad-Father.”
-The Venomous DiMilo, #1023
Derby, derby, derby. It seems as if my life has become consumed by this fast growing phenomenon we call roller derby. I joined Crossroads City Derby the summer of 2010 just for exercise. I really didn’t put too much thought in to it; it was just something for me to do that would get me off the couch and away from the refrigerator. I didn’t know that like everyone else who has found this sport and made it a part of their lives, I’d be bitten by the derby bug. It’s been three years since that day, and my passion for derby has grown with each game. So when the opportunity arose to play in El Paso’s Block ‘N Roll Mash Up on July 20th, 2013, I jumped at the chance. My league would have the opportunity to play with and against women from El Paso Roller Derby, Tall City Roller Betties, Safford Roller Derby, Derbal Remedy Roller Derby, Marfa Roller Derby, 575 Roller Babes, and Liga Roller Derby. These ladies were coming from all over Texas, New Mexico and even Juarez Mexico to compete against one another in three thirty minute themed bouts. I’d never played an actual game with players from another team so this was going to be interesting.
Bout day. Morning. I wake up and the first thing on my mind is the game. I was on Team 80s, aka The Breakfast Club. We were in the second game of the day and were playing against The Pink Ladies (Team 50s). Although I had an entire day before the game itself, I was already jittery. At work all I could think about was the game: Will I fall? Will I get too many penalties? Will I look like a fool? What if I do everything wrong? By the time Lady Longlegs came to pick me up at 3:15pm in her 80s inspired blinged out shoulder pads, I was ready to go and get this over with.
After picking up Fearless Foxy Fighter, we were off! We chatted excitedly on the 45-minute drive to El Paso TX., each of us wondering what to expect, all of us expecting (wanting) to win. We arrived at the venue, Nations Tobin Park, and as we walked inside the large square building, the parking lot was already beginning to fill. Once inside, there were derby ladies of all shapes and sizes walking around in their themed outfits: pink beauty school tops (Team 50s), rocker t-shirts (Team Rock Scars), and our 80s fluorescent green/yellow t-shirts (The Breakfast Club) were the outfits that stood out as we made our way to our change area. There we met some of our teammates, ladies from various parts of Texas and New Mexico. The three of us then did a quick look around the venue. There were a few vendors and a snack area. In the center of the room, there was sport court surrounded by folding chairs for the coming crowds to watch the games.
After saying hello to some of our fellow Crossroads City Derby (CCD) folks, Foxy left us to go ref the first game:Rock Scars vs. The Achy Breaky Hearts. Lady Longlegs and I found seats towards the back and caught a few minutes of the first game. The skill on the court was obvious as the women from Texas and New Mexico battled it out! Penalties were handed out so fast I couldn’t keep track. In the middle of second half, we had to leave to get ready for our own game but we heard it was a close match with the Rock Scars taking the win: 113-70. I am proud to note that many of CCD players walked away with Most Valuable Player Awards. Boozeberry Pie took the MVP blocker for the Rock Scars; RX Bex was awarded MVP Jammer for the Achy Breaky Hearts; and Goldy Blocks snatched up MVP overall also for team Achy Breaky Hearts.
Then it was my turn, Pink Ladies vs. The Breakfast Club. I took to the court in the first jam. Nervous, I waited for the whistle. “Next whistle starts the jam!” yelled the ref. Tweet! After that, every thing is a blur. Hitting, twisting, looking for team mates and trying to hold a wall were the only things on my mind. The Pink Ladies pulled ahead quickly in the first half as their bench coach Goldie A Go Go lined them up and made the calls. As usual, I don’t really remember much (derby amnesia) but I do remember that I had fun. Lady Longlegs jammed like a champ and in the second half, Foxy showed her leadership skills by organizing some of the lineups. Not having a bench coach had hurt us but we weren’t going to give up. We did manage to pull it together and make some of our points back but the Pink Ladies stayed ahead for the rest of the game. Final score: 132-82.
I didn’t really care. I played derby to the best of my ability and it was amazing! I still smile when I think of the bright spots that I managed to remember: Lady Longlegs and I actually held the fast moving Puncher Villa as she tried to score points; I actually spun completely around to avoid a hit; and Notorious TIJ and I went shoulder to shoulder a couple of times as she broke through our line to score points. Lady Longlegs was awarded MVP jammer, and I somehow managed to score MVP blocker for The Breakfast Club!
The night wasn’t over. In the last game of the evening,The Misfits vs. Club 54, I sat on the floor with my fellow Crossroads City crew to cheer on the last of the CCD ladies to play that night: Injur-Venous and Vicious V. As new players, this would be one of their first games against opposing league players. They made us proud. In the end, Injur-venous was awarded MVP over all for the Misfits who pulled out a win against Studio 54. Final score: 183-100.
Afterwards, a few of us headed over to Chili’s to refuel and discuss the days events before making the drive back to Las Cruces. We were all tired but happy as we chatted and laughed over our burgers and fries. It’d been an excellent night of derby with women from all over doing what they loved. Who could ask for anything more?