I’ve decided, after years of extensive research, that Utah truly does have four seasons. I know many of you would disagree, but hear me out. We have Winter, Winter continued, Summer, and finally, Construction. Yes, my friends, construction is a season. And you too can thoroughly experience this lovely season if you travel just a few miles north of Salt Lake and continue on to Ogden. The season of construction varies slightly along the large stretch of freeway—heavy in certain areas, lighter in others, but, nonetheless continuous. If you have a decent amount of patience, some good tuneage for the drive and (hopefully) a drive along buddy, it will make the trip worth it.
Check out photos from this bout here.
The destination itself is definitely worth the drive. Junction City Roller Dolls, Ogden’s resident derby league, hosted a rather exciting night of their notorious double-header derby action. The first bout set JCRD’s Trainwrecks against the very far-from-home Calgary Roller Derby Association All-Stars. The second bout was to be JCRD’s LOCO-Motives against Boise’s Treasure Valley Roller Girls River Rollers.
As the first bout between the Trainwrecks and Calgary’s All-Stars began, I could tell this was the most unapologetic bunch of Canadians I have ever seen. Truthfully, I shouldn’t have been surprised—derby makes everyone into a hardcore badass, but these Calgary girls were something else. About 15 minutes into the first half they were dominating the scoreboard at 30-4 and showing no signs of stopping. Before every jam they would form mini huddles of their own blockers, maybe giving each other encouragement, or going over the plan of attack for the jam ahead, who knows. What I do know is that there is something to that little technique, because their defense was phenomenal. Many a Trainwreck jammer had difficulty passing the pack, if they were able to pass the pack at all. By half time Calgary, led at a score of 77-27.
The Trainwrecks pulled out some much-needed pizzazz (people still use that word, right?), and kicked it into fourth gear as the second half played out. Stealing any opportunity they had to gain some points, the Trainwrecks moved their score up over 20 points within the first 15 minutes. That may not seem like a lot, but against the defense line that Calgary steadily kept up, it was quite a feat. The last ten minutes of the bout, however, saw some slight confusion resulting from multiple penalties. While the Trainwrecks were still slamming and jamming with help from Bee-A-Trix, Pickle, and Malibu Harpy, their combined hard work just didn’t quite close the gap between the scores. The first bout closed out with Calgary victorious at a score of 169-80.
As the second bout commenced, the LOCO-Motives and Treasure Valley seemed to be playing a little game of tag, going back and forth with lead jammer position, every other jam passing each other slightly in scores. Mayhem Miller and Bee-A-Trix pulled out some great offensive skating, maneuvering around the Treasure Valley blockers. With ten minutes left of the first half, it started getting pretty confusing out on the track. Jammers went in and out of the penalty box and, at times, the pack was in complete disarray. I’m positive I wasn’t the only one who was at least slightly confused trying to follow along with all of the calls being made and following the flow of the jam. By half time, the LOCO-Motives were leading at 64-57.
The second half brought even more confusion, and also more aggression. Both teams were pushing hard and the penalty box was definitely showing the ramifications from it. Cut tracks, high blocks, low blocks and back blocks abounded, and the game of point tag from the first half continued on. The Treasure Valley girls seemed to keep their lead in the beginning, but slowly the LOCOs creeped up and overtook Treasure Valley with roughly 15 minutes left in the bout. Treasure Valley wasn’t all that happy about that upset, understandably so. Their defense strategy became amplified, and consequently their offensive. With less than 10 minutes on the clock, the score stood 130 LOCOs to 129 Treasure Valley.
In the second to last jam, Bee-A-Trix had a nasty knock down in turn two, smacking her thankfully helmeted head straight on the concrete. The medic crew on site took care of her very quickly, getting her helmet off checking her out and off the track and braced up. However, Mayhem Miller also found out there was some bad juju in turn two, because the next thing I knew, she was on the ground and seemed to be seriously hurt. When a skater is hurt during play, all play stops and, out of respect, all skaters on the track, including officials, take a knee. When a skater is seriously injured, all skating officials create a barricade around the injured skater to block them from sight to give them privacy while they’re being looked over by the medical staff. Junction City felt it was best to shut down the bout so that they could better take care of Mayhem, and had everyone exit the Golden Spike Event Center.
While roller derby is an amazing and totally badass sport, it still has its very good portion of injuries, and some of them can be very severe. Although all skaters and skating officials wear protective gear, it does not prevent everything.
I wish both Mayhem Miller and Bee-A-Trix the speediest of recoveries, and hope to see them up and skating soon. To see the ladies of Junction City in all of their glory at their next home bout and also their season ending game on Oct. 18. For all the info, check out their Facebook.