1) What pump up song plays in your head when you take the track? I like to listen to a lot of old school hip hop, and metal. I listen to a lot of Bring me the horizon, suicide silence, job for a cowboy, and then mix it with some nwa, snoop dog, or some real slow jam playa music. I’m a little bit everywhere, depends on the mood I am trying to set the game, smooth and stable, or chaotic “SoGo” (my nick name for when i get bro-ed out for Suns Out Guns Out) style. And of course, sweet melodies of Led Zeppelin.
2) What is your favorite city to travel to play derby in? Fort Wayne, always a good time at springroll. Sad that it won’t happen this year. Florida is also a good time, last time we went we played and went straight to the beach where we swam with sharks, rode alligators like surf boards, and got epic sun burns.
3) Who is your favorite WFTDA skater and why? Kayla Seiber, soon to be Woodward. She got me into the game, shes got the moves, the determination, the passion to be one of the best wftda skaters. and man does she got some sexy thighs, huh.
4) When the team travels, which team mate(s) do you room with? I always room with Pink and Saint. Because we are besties, it is the circle of trust.
5) Which MRDA skater pushes you to be better [because they’ve beaten you in the past]? I am constantly trying to move my body like Sugar Boots, I want to push people out like Cory Pain. I want to play to the crowd like Seahorses. I want to stop Jonathan R as the dragon. I want the derby knowledge of my buddy “The Saint”. There are a lot of talented dudes that I get to play, I learn a little from all of them.
6) What is your favorite post-bout food? You have to eat the potatoes to make the potatoes. Thats the secret sauce.
1) What pump up song plays in your head when you take the track? Iggy and the Stooges- Search and Destroy
2) What is your favorite city to travel to play derby in? To be honest with you, they’re all about the same to me. I generally don’t see much of the cities when I travel. I’m either at the venue, the hotel, or some bar where the after party is being held. It’s really for the people, and the sport that I’m there, not the city.
3) Who is your favorite WFTDA skater and why? I don’t have one specific WFTDA skater that’s my favorite. I’ve seen many skaters, at all levels, do really great things.
4) When the team travels, which team mate(s) do you room with? I guess, over the years, I’ve roomed with Munster, and Demolition Man, and Miller more than anyone else.
5) Which MRDA skater pushes you to be better [because they’ve beaten you in the past]? There isn’t one particular MRDA skater that pushes me to be better. There’s been plenty over the years, but I’d say my team mates are the ones that push me the hardest, and make me want to be a better player.
6) What is your favorite post-bout food? Definitely burritos, but for me, that’s an anytime favorite.
Bridgetown looked strong this morning against the 10 seed, Twin City Terrors, but they’re going to have to ratchet down their defense against a team like the Gatekeepers. St. Louis has been described as “brutal” and “exacting”. Bridgetown defense tends to expand and contract depending on the position of the jammer, but against the Keepers they’ll have to hit their brakes and use their strength and patience if they want to keep up.
The Keepers are excellent at keeping blockers away from each other, if they take advantage of the Menace’s natural movement, their jammers may only need to slalom through the defense. The Keepers’ jammers are excellent at momentum control, so the strength of Bridgetown’s hits may not phase them. For the Menace, the first game used a five jammer rotation. We’ll see if they continue that trend.
The Gatekeepers face the Bridgetown Menace at 5p CST WFTDA.tv
It’s that time of year: we are less than a week away from the MRDA Championship in St. Louis: River City Rumble. I have taken on the task again of giving the derby world a look at what the can expect this weekend. With the expansion of the tournament to 10 teams, my task this year is more daunting than ever before. I will do my best to keep each article even in length. It will depend on how much I know about each team, though. You have been warned.
Your 10 seed is here by (for them) fortuitous circumstances. The Twin City Terrors are actually ranked #14, but due to a variety of reasons the #10-#13 declined the invitation to Champs. Having done a lot of research for predictions before the rankings were released, I can say that (according to math) TC is as good of an opponent as any that declined. I do not think they will be a dull team to watch.
This team is no stranger to tournaments, having played in two every year for at least the last three years. This year they had a particularly daunting tournament schedule: 3 tournaments: Midwest Brewhaha, Rolling Along the River, and River City Warm-Up. They lined up 7 times this year against top 8 teams including playing the Gatekeepers and Texas Outlaws twice, and also Bridgetown Menace, Puget Sound, and Your Mom on top of an additional 5 sanctioned games. Since TC obviously has had Champs on their mind, this highly challenging season had to be chosen by design for solidification of team work and to test nerves under pressure. They’ll need that experience for champs: they meet the Bridgetown Menace again in the first round, and the winner will play the Gatekeepers. The loser will play the loser of the Magic City/Aftershocks bout.
But who ARE the Twin City Terrors?
They are a team that has the potential to play like Shock Exchange, as long as they keep up their training and focus. Their walls can grind down jammers when the game is slow, they have far better bracing and positional blocking than I was expecting when I sat down to watch Brewhaha footage. In a sport where players love looking jammers in the eye, Twin City looked as comfortable plowing a jammer to stop as they did tossing a backwards block at them. If there is anything I have learned from watching the WFTDA playoffs this year is that the difference between a good team and a great team comes down to their ability to plow stop. If Twin City can take a note from their WFTDA counterparts and begin to really ratchet down their speed control and recycling, they’ll be in good shape.
In both their Texas and Puget games at Brewhaha, Twin City came out strong with slow walls, coordinated offense, and a protection of the lines that slowed down Scott Slamilton and Dr. Feelgood. Steve Sweat #808 and Egon Strangler #42 are impossibly fast at the top of the pack. Often they can catch jammers who have a head start, and knock them out of bounds before the end of the engagement zone. At the same time, Timchilla #3 (whether as pivot or jammer) has ridiculous fast feet, and was able to take advantage of the offense given. Derby Monster #00 and Freight Train are the bruisers of this team that also moonlight as seriously effective jammers. In the tournament I watched, jammer penalties (cuts primarily) killed the momentum of a team with many weapons in their tool belt.
If Twin City can keep calm and keep their packs together, they’ll do well this weekend. Their blockers are strong, they just have a tendency to get split up when the game gets fast. If they can use what they learned from playing Puget Sound at Brewhaha and apply a pack definition strategy to keep the game slow and at their pace, they will do well. “The Great Wall of St Paul” is what coach Betsy Wrecksie calls it: working together to remove speed from the game and control the other team’s position. Twin City has had the advantage of Wreckie’s experience this season, she was formerly Minnesota All-Star’s head coach in 2014. She knows how to help a team gel.
Baron von Bean #609, Luce Wheel #103, Jamnit Dim #31, and Sampson #66 are the guys you put out to glue the walls together. You may not always notice them, because they are quietly holding their team mates use them as the rock to form around. Recent transfer Ogden Smash #64 will only add to the solidity of walls, being a very smart strategist and very effective at getting in the opposition’s way.
Bridgetown is also a ‘jack of all trades’ kind of team, so it will be fun to watch these two trade blows in the first round. If Twin City can stay focused and engaged the Great Wall and not allow the bruisers of Bridgetown to split them apart for too long, they’ll put up an excellent fight. Where Bridgetown will have a solid jammer rotation, Twin City seems to come into games a little looser. They have a deep jammer pool and tend to throw in a variety of people ‘to see who sticks’. They may need to call on the power of Freight Train to push through the likes of Cozmo Damage, but keep an eye out for rookie N8s Gonna Nate who made a big impact at Brewhaha.
Coach says of Twin City’s attitude going into Champs:
We’re pretty sure we’re not heading home with a first place medal as we’ve already played the one and two seeds and while it was a welcome challenge – they were pretty one sided games… If we can go as far as to beat [the Aftershocks], I think it says we were supposed to be here at champs even if we weren’t the first choice. Win or lose; we are all extremely excited to be taking part in MRDA Champs and proud to be the first Terrors squad to do so.