This is a guest post by Disloyalist skater Manic Breeze.
We are playing amazingly well these days, with incredible endurance as well as the ability to hold opposing jammers in a perfect V formation, waterfall as needed, and bridge like it’s in our very nature. Our teamwork has improved spectacularly since the beginning of the season and I think we owe that in large part to our coach, Sly & the Family Jewels (you are freaking awesome, Bob!), who has patiently been guiding us through strategies for each common situation we might encounter. We have a system of offensive work off the start whistle, we have plays that jammers and line captains can call, sending the pack into finely tuned arcs to sweep or goat or basically create havoc. We are communicating and working together, we are crazy fast and powerful. In short, we are playing our best yet!
On July 6, the Disloyalists took on the Capital City Derby Dolls’ (CCDD) Dolly Rogers in Ottawa. It was more than 30 degrees in the building, and though we hydrated the &@$% out of ourselves and had a cooler with icy water and towels so we could revive ourselves as needed, we were bloody hot. We had sweat soaking through our shirts before the bout even started.
Though we are usually a second-half team, at this bout we started strong, executing strategies perfectly right from the first jam of the bout. Both teams’ jammers had trouble getting through the opposing defense. The Disloyalists generally played with three strong defensive blockers in a V and one designated offensive player, helping our jammers through the Dolly Rogers’ walls, and extremely tight truck & trailers*. Both teams were playing fast, controlled derby. It was a joyous game to watch, well-matched and well-fought with plenty of spirit and many spectacular moments.
I enjoyed Johnston’s moment of forcing a cut on the opposing team’s jammer off the start whistle, Luci Fleur throwing herself so hard at the jammer that she literally flew head over heels, Willard just continuously and tirelessly dragging jammers to the back of the pack, and Ker-Osene playing ferociously with huge, perfect hits.
I want to give big high-fives to the Dolly Rogers’ blocker Brennan, a player with ridiculous strength and incredible track awareness, and to their tiny jammer, Tank, for her explosive, bounding energy on the track.
At the end of the first half, it was 80 to 54 for the Dolly Rogers. In the second half we suffered from many a penalty; we were short at least one player in almost every jam, and so we succumbed to the domination of the Dolly Rogers, with a final score of 179 to 106 for them. I, for one, would love to take them on again — thanks for hosting us, CCDD!
The Disloyalists are playing again this weekend, at our home base at the Memorial Centre, on July 13th. Don’t miss your chance to see us bring all we’ve learned this season to the international arena in this bout against Port City!
* A truck and trailer is a strategy involving two teammates skate one directly in front of the other, with the front (truck) pulling the back (trailer): it can be an effective method of getting a jammer through a pack.