Author: Jeanine Carmichael

Wasatch Roller Derby Home Team Championship, Aug 15, 2015.
Riot Atchya of the Black Diamond Divas tries to break free of Jane Accostin’ of the Hot Wheelers. Photo: Mike Lehmann

This Saturday, masses of people packed into the warehouse known as the Derby Depot for the WRD Home Team Championship bout. Nestled in the warehouse district off 700 West in Salt Lake City, the Derby Depot transforms from a warehouse to an arena where skaters fight to the finish. As my friends and I like to say, the women that play for WRD are real competitors. They train together, skate together and bleed together.

It was awesome to see some of the new skaters WRD had acquired over the summer in action, including one of Junction City Roller Dolls’ jammers, Mayhem Miller. Mayhem was able to add speed, technique and ferocity to help the Hot Wheelers’ offense. I also saw several new skaters on the track I had never had the honor of watching before, such as Rainbow Thrash (jammer for Black Diamond Divas) and Ole Chloe (jammer for Hot Wheelers), who kicked ass and took names on the track.

Colorful banners and signs waved, crowds screamed, and a large, white Sasquatch (Sassy, the WRD mascot) could be seen trolling fans for a laugh. Whistles blared and the game began. The Black Diamond Divas started the game in the lead with the help of Sookie Slaphouse, who earned 27 points in a single jam. The Hot Wheelers didn’t go without a fight, though. Triple Lexx continuously blocked the Divas’ jammer, Rainbow Thrash, blocking her into submission, forcing her to pass the star to Sookie Slaphouse. Throughout the first half, Stache Bot 5000, jammer for the Hot Wheelers, knocked down blockers like dominos, whizzing through the pack and scoring points without breaking a sweat. At the end of the first half, the score was 77 HW – 113 BDD. This may seem like a giant lead, but because jammers can score over 40 points in a single jam, the Hot Wheelers still had hope.

The second half intensified, as the Hot Wheelers ramped up their defense to wall the Divas out. Jammers O’Britterator and Stache Bot fought to score points against the Divas’ tight defense, consistently making gains with each jam. It was amazing to see the progression in O’Britterator’s jamming ability, as she laterally moved and juked to get past the blockers. In Jam 13, Stache Bot skated in a power jam, going neck and neck with the hard-hitting defense of Bust-Em Buxom (BDD). Although Stache Bot was hit out of bounds by Bust-Em, she was able to tie the game. The Divas continued to fight, with Animal Kracker having the highest scoring jam of 22 points. Animal gracefully skated backwards, spinning around defenders and barley getting scathed, thanks to her fancy footwork. The Divas came back in the lead for a few jams, until Stache Bot skated onto the track.

Like a bat out of hell, Stache Bot dominated the track, flying around defenders, or knocking them down with sheer gusto. The crowd grew louder and louder with each point Stache Bot scored. In jam 19, the final jam of the game, Stache was hit by blockers, forcing her to skate on one skate around the apex and glide past defenders. The crowd was shocked and astonished with Stache Bot’s fight and ability to keep on pushing. As Stache Bot rounded the corner on one skate, the crowd fell silent. Gaping mouths hit the floor and anticipation flew through the roof. She was able to successfully complete the jam, leading the Hot Wheelers to victory, as dedicated fans screams thundered and echoed through the warehouse. The final score was 198–195, but the Black Diamond Divas—ahead on total points for the season—are still slated to compete in the WRD Beehive Brawl Tournament. The tournament will take place Oct. 17 and 18, where four of Utah’s best roller derby teams will duke it out to win the title of best in state.

(L–R): Animal Krackher and Bruisee Smalls fight for position and points at the Wasatch Roller Derby. The Portneuf Bruisers visited the Wasatch Bonebille Bone Crushers on April 11, 2015.
(L–R): Animal Krackher and Bruisee Smalls fight for position and points. The Portneuf Bruisers visited the Wasatch Bonebille Bone Crushers on April 11, 2015. Photo: Void Pointer
On April 11, Wasatch Roller Derby hosted a double-header bout at the Derby Depot. The first game was between the Bonneville Bone Crushers (WRDs B-level travel team) and the Portneuf Valley Bruisers of Pocatello, Idaho. The Wasatch Roller Derby was skewed in favor of BBC, since PVB only had eight players there. Although the PVB played hard and kept going, the players were exhausted by the end of the first half. Stache Bot 5000, a jammer for BBC, scored over 40 points in Jam 16 during the first half. BBC kept Portneuf from scoring by creating tight, unbreakable walls of defense. Chiquita Wabamya (BBC) was a valuable blocker, who continuously hit PVB’s jammers out of play. Although PVB was having a difficult time breaking through the pack, their main jammer Killswitch Enskate was able to get lead jammer several times. At half time, the score was 208 BBC to 48 PVB. Stache Bot helped BBC gain the lead with her stellar jam. Jam after jam Stache was able to not only break the pack, but knocked down most of the players she came into contact with. She utilized both her blocking and jamming skills to keep PVB’s jammer from breaking the pack. Bruisee Smalls (PVB jammer) had difficulty breaking the pack due to the hard work of Chiquita and Sookie Slaphouse (BBC), who were able to constantly knock her out of bounds and hold their defensive wall tight. Killswitch Enskate jammed multiple times in a row, only to be relieved every so often by one of the blockers. Although PVB was able to get a power jam in the second half, they were still unable to catch up to BBC. Near the end of the Wasatch Roller Derby, one of BBC’s jammers, Makillda, lost the front truck on her skate and fouled out at the same time. She gracefully skated on two wheels to the penalty box. While Makillda was in the box, Bruisee Smalls was able to score 10 points in a power jam. After fixing her trucks, Makillda was able to get back on the track and continue scoring for BBC. Although PVB fought hard, the Bonneville Bone Crushers took the victory with an overwhelming win of 348 to 89.
The second game the Wasatch Roller Derby hosted was between their two home teams, The Black Diamond Divas and the Hot Wheelers. At first, the Black Diamond Divas seemed to have taken the lead, but they were continuously trailed by the Hot Wheelers. In the first half, the Black Diamond Divas racked up a 34 point lead, thanks to Sookie Slaphouse, who scored 15 points in one jam. The Hot Wheelers were able to achieve lead jammer several times, with their jammer MegaStorm scoring 13 points. Once the second half of the Wasatch Roller Derby, the game started to heat up. Players were getting hit off the track left and right. In the eighth jam of the second half, Makillda was able to bring the Hot Wheelers into the lead with a score of 122 HW to 118 BDD. The Hot Wheelers were consistently battling for lead against BDD’s jammers. In jam 14, Wreckless and Makillda fought for lead, chasing and hip checking each other around the track. Once again, BDD took the lead, only to have the Hot Wheelers catch up in jam 19, where Makillda scored five points, giving the Hot Wheelers a one point lead (150-149). Everyone in the crowd was on the edge of their seats as each team continuously stole back the lead from the other. In the 21st jam, Wreckless put BDD back in the lead by scoring several points in a power jam, giving the Divas a 5 point lead (154-159). Although Stache Bot scored the highest points in both games with her jams, Makillda was the MVP jammer in the second bout in my opinion. She fought hard to help the Hot Wheelers gain the lead consistently against the Divas. In the last jam of the Wasatch Roller Derby, both jammers ended up going to the penalty box. With only thirty seconds left, the Divas were able to score one more point, winning the game 155-159.