Junction City getting ready to battle. Photo: Chris Bojanower
It’s that time of year again, when stores are filled with three-ring binders, annoying tween star–covered folders, and enough Bic pens and pencils to fill the Marianas Trench (which is the deepest crevice in the ocean, for those who didn’t know. Yes, knowledge with sarcasm! Double win.)
The ladies of the lovely Junction City in Ogden had a night filled with all sorts of fun, for all ages. As it was a kids–themed “Back to School” night—children under 12 were admitted for free and got to enjoy face painting and balloon shenanigans. For the adults over 18 years of age, there was a silent auction, with over 30 items from local businesses, friends, and sponsors of the Junction City Roller Dolls. Derby as a whole loves a good charity, and the Ogden Trainwrecks are no different. Their main charity this year is CAPSA (Community Abuse Prevention Services Agency) and a portion of the proceeds from the silent auction was donated to CAPSA. To learn more about them, volunteer or find other ways to donate, visit their site here.
If you thought that was all the fun that was had on Saturday, you are sorely mistaken. The real excitement was that the game of the night was to be a double header. That’s right, not only stuff for the kiddies, and a silent auction packed with swag, but TWO derby games for the price of one—or free, if you were younger than 12. Either way, it was one hell of a bargain.
The first bout of the night was between the JCRD’s all-star team, the Trainwrecks, versus the Happy Valley Derby Darlins’ team, the Molly Morbids. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding of when I thought the first bout started, I missed most of the first half of the first bout. If it was anything like the few minutes I was able to see before halftime, it must have been quite a show. The half time score was 128-66 with Junction in the lead.
As the second half started, Junction was blessed with a power jam with their jammer Pickle bringing in 10 points before calling off the jam as Morbid jammer BreakHer was released from the box. The bout continued, with the Morbids putting on a very strong offensive strategy, which was working really well for them. Although not always scoring points in every jam, they were putting up a fight and trying to close the gap between scores. With a little more than 15 minutes left in the game, Morbid jammer Megahurtz passed the star panty (the helmet covering that identifies them as the jammer) to fellow skater and pivot Cookie who, right after receiving it, was completely knocked out of play, letting Lady Shatterly of Junction, who was lead jammer, score 4 points. Why they pulled out that strategy still confuses me, but no loss, no gain, I suppose, if I’m pulling out the right obscure idiom.
Now, while the Morbids seemed to claim the majority of lead jammer positions as the bout trickled down into single minutes, it does not mean they always pulled in points. As the last jam finally ended, the Junction City Trainwrecks pulled out the win at a score of 219-131.
The second bout of the night was between Junction City’s LOCO Motives and The Grand Junction Roller Girls from Grand Junction, Colo.
I’m not sure who gave the team their pep talk, or if they were still high off their fellow player’s win, but the LOCO Motives took ahold of the first jams in a big way. By Jam 5 they were ahead at a score of 31 to Colorado’s 4, and for the rest of the bout, it seemed to continue in that same pattern. A little before half time some more confusion happened on the track. First, LOCO Motive jammer Bugsy Rogue was sent to the penalty box on a cut track penalty, only for a Grand Junction skater to also be sent out on a penalty. Once the Colorado jammer sat down, Bugsy was released to slight chaos on the track, with multiple skaters being hip checked and knocked down. Needless to say, I was glad once the jam ended so my brain could recuperate. By halftime, LOCO Motives were ahead 124 to 36.
The second half started getting down and vicious in a very fast way. Both teams seemed to get a second wind and it showed. Jammers were pushing themselves to break the pack first, blockers were throwing hip checks and pulling great defensive plays and at times it was all I could do to keep up. The most common pairing that seemed to happen during the jams was between LOCO Motive skater Mayhem Miller and Grand Junction’s AnyBody KillHer. Both seemed to pull in more than their fair share of points, especially considering their size. Both girls were little but AnyBody KillHer was a tiny little wisp of a thing. Seriously, I thought if she got a decent hip check or block off anyone, she’d break, but that definitely worked to her and Mayhem Miller’s advantage—sneaking and dodging through the pack, almost always unnoticed and scoring lead jammer position.
The last jam before the end of the bout ended slightly anti-climactic. First, LOCO Motive jammer Bugsy Rogue was called on a back block penalty, starting the last jam with her still in the box, but was released a moments after the jam started. Then, EviLution of Grand Junction was called on a cut track, only to have Bugsy sent back to the box very shortly after. Now, in most cases, the first jammer who was penalized would be released so there would be a jammer on the track. This was not one of those cases. Both jammers were just sitting in the box biding their time until, finally, EviLution was released and was barely able to score 5 points for her team before the jam ended. Although not quite enough to catch up to the LOCO Motives, ending the bout at a score of 187-93. It was definitely well fought and quite a show to watch, and I thank our northern ladies of Junction City for letting me be a part of the fun. To find out more about Junction or upcoming bouts, find them on their official Facebook page.