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Nelsonites pack NDCC Arena for latest stop on West Kootenay Flat Track Roller Derby circuit
By Bruce Fuhr
The Nelson Daily Sports
Gnarlies Angels of Rossland continued to hold down the penthouse suite.
The Dam City Rollers of Castlegar, savouring win number one on the club’s history book, are slowly, but surely, making their way up the to the top.
And the Killjoys and Lumber Jackies of Nelson, well, these teams are just getting better with age.
Such was life during the third stop on the news craze to hit the region, the West Kootenay Flat Track Roller Derby League.
A sellout crowd of spectators crammed the Nelson and District Community Complex Arena Saturday to catch was everyone is talking about.
“This is just what I expected,” said Killjoys’ jammer Pamela Jeffers, a.k.a, Viscious Kind, when asked about the night.
“(Roller Derby) is different, it’s new, it’s fun . . .. There’s full contact. There’s women . . . it’s aggressive. So I’m not at all surprised with the turnout.”
Gnarlies Angels, one of the founding clubs in the league, once again toyed with the opposition in the second leg of the doubleheader, this time it was the Lumber Jackies.
The Angels used their superior skating and knowledge of the game to build a 94-30 advantage at halftime in a penalty-filled contest.
In the first game of the night, the new-and-improved Dam City Rollers of Castlegar outlasted Nelson Killjoys 106-89.
Dam City outscored the Killjoys 25-10 down the stretch to crank out win number one on the season.
“It was our first win which is why we’re so over the moon excited,” a beaming Dam City assistant coach Shamiso Rhikate told The Nelson Daily from outside the winner’s dressing room.
Dam City, like the two Nelson teams, had taken it on the chin to open the season against league heavyweight — Babes of Brutality of Salmo.
So it was good to play a team with the same caliber of players as the Killjoys.
“We entered the game knowing we probably were going to win — that maybe a little egotistical but we trained and worked hard for this,” said Rhikate, whose derby name is Divine Intervention.
“We’re good friends with the Nelson girls, but we went into this game knowing we probably we going to get this win and are very happy we did.”
Despite coming out on the wrong end of the scored in both games, this night belonged to the two Nelson teams.
Less than nine months ago the players met at Trafalgar Middle School to start training. So both teams have come a long way to even be in the league let alone compete with the heavyweights.
“Not at all,” said Jeffers in discussing the loss.
Fact it, noise coming from inside the dressing room of the Killjoys had most people walking the hallway under the stands believing the hometown team had won.
“How close we came tonight only makes us just want to win more,” Jeffers adds. “When you out playing a sport and you’re having fun, you are winning regardless of what’s on the scoreboard.”
The two Nelson teams started with more than 40 players back in October 2010 and started with 22 players on each team. Each team can dress only 14 players for games.
However, due to previous commitments or injury, the Killjoys and Lumber Jackies have seen their roster number drop.
It’s back to the training gyms for all teams in preparation for the next stop on the circuit — June 17 in Castlegar.
Salmo’s Babes of Brutality face the Lumber Jackies in one game while Gnarlies Angels due battle with the hometown Dam City Rollers.
The regular season concludes July 8 in Nelson as both Heritage City squads square off against Babes of Brutality and Dam City Rollers.
The playoffs start July 23 in Castlegar with the teams four and five meeting in a consolation final.
The second and third-place finishers travel to the Rossland Arena August 19th for semi final action with the winner advancing to the final, once again at the Rossland Arena, in September.
Flat Track Roller Derby uses many of the same rules of the older banked track sport seen on television during the 60’s and 70’s.
Each heat begins with a pack of blockers lead by two pivots.
The two jammers from each team, who score the points, start a 10 meters behind the pack and begin skating when the last blocker crosses the pivot line.
The jammers work their way through the pack of blockers to score points. Both jammers score points, however, only the lead jammer may call off a jam.
For more information on Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby check out http://wftda.com/
For more information on the West Kootenay Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby League check out http://www.kootenayrollerderby.com/