Approximately 40 miles south of downtown Salt Lake City is Utah County, home to the Happy Valley Derby Darlins (HVDD). HVDD is a WFTDA Member League with one travel team, the Molly Morbids, and three home teams: Daughters of Anarchy, Rollin’ Rebellion, and Sirens of Steel. They also offer for their beginner/recreational skaters a chance to play with the Bridal Veil Dolls.
This past weekend the Happy Valley Derby Darlins hosted their season opener at the UVU UCCU Event Center in Orem, Utah. Featured in the event were three thirty minute bouts showcasing their home teams. The season opener also featured the first official scrimmage of the Bridal Veil Dolls.
As the Bridal Veil Dolls (Black vs White) took the track for warmups the crowd’s excitement matched the anticipation and nervousness of some of the players. For some of these skaters, this would be their first time playing roller derby in front of a crowd. As the teams lined up for their first jam of the evening, the nerves on some of the player’s faces could be seen across the stadium. When the first whistle sounded, it was like the nerves melted away with the action. The white team’s jammer, Raven Mad, made her way through the pack and became the lead jammer. Because this team is the HVDD intermediate team the action was a little slower and it was a perfect way to start the event. The slower action allowed for new roller derby spectators to catch on to how the game was played and allowed for some of the veteran spectators to more easily explain what was happening.
Although the action was a little slower, it does not mean it was void of action. The teams were very evenly matched and the score stayed fairly close through the entire duration of the game (fifteen minutes). With some pretty impressive defense from the black team’s Elbow Brite, and some solid hits from the white team’s Saucy Aussie, you could tell these women have been practicing hard and loved playing the sport. Final Score on this debut scrimmage was Black 48, White 42.
The next game to up on the agenda was the thirty minute bout between the Sirens of Steel and the Rollin Rebellion.
Both teams lined up on the track and the first jam was underway. Bursting her way through the pack, the Rollin Rebellion’s Thrasher, took lead jammer and came away from the first jam with 19 points. This game was definitely faster paced than the previous game and you could tell the girls on the track had been working hard on their roller derby skills during the off season.
The Rebellions continued to rack up the points with jammers Bizzie scoring 35 points and Red A Whip scoring 40 points within the first 10 jams. The Sirens fought hard, but their jammers struggled to gain lead due to the tough defense of the Rebellions led by Bloody 2shoes and BreakHer.
About the seventh jam into the game, the Rebellions sent out their jammer Amazon Ambush, who attempted to jump the apex. Amazon’s attempt fell a little short when she fell on top of the pack, taking down the majority of the players on the track, leading to her ejection from the game.
Sirens of Steel continued to fight the tough defense and the seemingly unstoppable jammers of the Rollin Rebellion. The Juker from the Sirens put some much-needed points on the board for her team as did Kya Boom and Demo. Still, it wasn’t enough to stop the Rebellions from winning 150 to 51.
The next half bout featured the Daughters Of Anarchy taking on the Rollin Rebellions. The Rebellions were hot off their win against the Sirens of Steel—literally hot. They were all sweaty and pumped up! All their players were back in play for this game, including Amazon Ambush.
After the fifth jam it was evident that the hot streak was continuing for the Rebellions, with the score standing at 24 to 51. With the DoA’s jammers fighting to put up points, the Rebellions BreakHer and Bloody continued to be a tough defense to break.
Amazon Ambush, well rested after her expulsion from the last game, came up to the line to jam for the Rebellions, with help from her team and her determined fearless skating style she pushed through the pack and became lead jammer, putting up 14 points. Amazon was so much fun to watch on the track, not only was she fearless as a jammer, her blocking was fierce and almost stealthy. Oftentimes she came out of nowhere with a big hit, surprising the spectators and the person she just knocked down. Our little section of spectators named Amazon Ambush the “M.E.P.” (Most Entertaining Player) of the game. She skated fearlessly and strong. After the game, I asked Amazon what, if anything, changed on how she played the second game, Amazon gave me a big grin and a laugh and said, “My team told me, ‘Don’t do any stupid shit’ and I took it to heart.”
Final score: Daughters of Anarchy 55, Rollin Rebellion 167.
In the final bout of the evening, we saw the Daughters of Anarchy take on the Sirens of Steel. The Sirens of Steel’s The Juker and Daughter of Anarchy’s Pain in the Nikki were the first jammers on the track. Off to a big start, both jammers put up big points for their team. The defense was much more evenly matched for this bout. However, towards the end, the Daughters of Anarchy’s exhaustion started to show.
The final score for the final bout of the evening: Daughter’s of Anarchy 78, Sirens of Steel 103.
Happy Valley Derby Darlins sure know how to hold a season opener. Displaying all their home teams skills and highlighting all skill level of players they have. Looks like they will have an exciting season ahead of them, and all their fans and players won’t be disappointed with the performance.
If you would like to learn more about Happy Valley Derby Darlins, get their schedule, find out how you can sign up to skate with the HVDD or volunteer to help out at a game, check out their webpage and like them on Facebook.
Thanks to photographer Void Pointer. To see more awesome roller derby photos, check out his Facebook and his webpage.