Dig Baton Rouge

Down, Not Out

By Nick BeJeaux

The Alamo City Rollergirls gave Red Stick Roller Derby a run for their money during Baton Rouge’s last bout of the summer, but the All Stars and Capital Defenders aren’t about to roll over and die as they near the end of their season.

The first bout of the doubleheader between the RSRD All Stars and ACR’s Las Tejanas was intense, to say the least. Both teams were evenly matched in terms of defense, but Las Tejanas’ aggressive offense lead by Rock-it Balboa tipped the balance in their favor early. Once they sank their teeth, they held on tight. The contests ended 63 to 236, ACR.

“They were, by far, the hardest team we’ve played this season, and we knew that coming in,” said All Star Co-Captain Val Killmore. “We’re usually a strictly defensive team, but the usual didn’t work here.”

The All Stars favor a blocking defensive strategy, while Las Tejanas preferred to knock jammers off the track. Killmore said that between now and the next bout, the All Stars will focus on balancing out their defense and offense to deal with more aggressive teams like Alamo City’s.

“We weren’t worn down, per se; we probably could have played for about another hour. Endurance is pretty high, but they hit really hard and we’re a tiny team,” she said. “We run a more positional blocking strategy, as opposed to a diving strategy and there was a lot of that during this bout.”

RSRD’s Capital Defenders ran into the same problems against ACR’s Las Pistoleras, though they fared slightly better than their A Team counterparts. Death Before Decaf and Mad Dame Curie, skaters that usually shine on the defensive line, proved to be some of the most effective jammers during the bought. Curie’s speed and Decaf’s balance proved invaluable against Las Pistoleras’ brutal knock-down defense and together earned more than one grand slam for Baton Rouge. Still, the bout ended 90 to 232, ACR.

“They were getting the jump on us right off the line and that’s something we’re going to work on,” said Sour Patch Kid, the Defenders’ Co-Captain. “They’re also really good at recycling [getting back to the front of the pack after getting knocked out of the ring] and closing in our jammers.”

Baton Rouge is set to go against Alamo City once again during their next bout on September 18, this time on their home turf. For both teams, the two-month lull will be anything but a vacation.

“Practicing. A lot. We’ll have almost two months to get ready for our next bout and really work together as a team,” said Killmore. “We have a full roster on our B Team, which is great, so we can really work on our jammers and get it all ironed out.”

“None of us gave up, but we could have done better,” Killmore added. “Now we can reflect. At practice, we’re going to be skating our penalty laps and looking at what we need to fix to play a team like this again.”

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