2017 Home Opener Preview
2017 will be an important year for the Cincinnati Rollergirls. For the first time in 10 seasons, they will skate on a floor that isn’t inside the Cincinnati Gardens for a home opener. Instead, they’ll roll out their 2017 home season at the historic Schmidt Memorial Fieldhouse at Xavier University.
Schmidt is a great space for roller derby with a wooden floor, and it’s a smaller venue than the Gardens (3,000 vs. 10,000 capacity), which will amplify the sound and intensity from the crowd. Life is all about changes, and after months of adjusting to life post-Gardens and searching for a new venue, the Cincinnati Rollergirls have landed on their skates with their new home.
This Saturday, March 18, the WFTDA 59th-ranked Cincinnati Rollergirls Black Sheep will take on the 101st-ranked Ft. Wayne Bomb Squad in an unsanctioned matchup. These two teams have squared off on a number of occasions in the past, with the Sheep last taking the win in 2015, and they’ll add the next chapter to their long history this weekend. Fort Wayne is 1-0 on the season after defeating Dayton’s Gem City Roller Derby last month, and Saturday will mark the Sheep’s first game of the year.
Cincinnati comes into the season with a decidedly different roster as the Sheep have a number of new players that have moved up from the Lambs. Cincinnati was hit with a number of retirements last year that included Annie Tomical, Chainsaw, Hannah Barbaric, Hot Slice, MIRDERHER, Sailor Scary and Sista Shovechild. On the up side, two months ago, the team had a record turnout of 40 people at tryouts. Now, the team has a chance to reset and put new people into new roles. At the same time, this gives everyone a chance to make a roster and try to cement a permanent spot.
Cincinnati is bringing back a number of key players this year to start to build the team around. Jas Hubbard and Royal T are both back, and that’s bad news if you aren’t wearing a shirt that says “Cincinnati Rollergirls” on it. Both are extremely aggressive jammers who are constantly making contact with opposing players, which wears down their ability to form defensive walls.
Wheezy, arguably the strongest athlete on the team, is also back and still looks like she is made out of steel and granite. Rumor has it she’ll be seeing more time in the pack this year as a blocker, which will be a lot of fun to watch. I am really looking forward to seeing more of Ragdoll Ruby this year as well, since she was consistently having good games last season. Finally, Poppy Chulo has been doing a lot of strength training outside of skating, which should result in serious on-the-track gains.
Saturday’s game will also mark the CRG debut of Train N Pain, a transfer from Cleveland’s Burning River Roller Derby. And a transfer from the Ohio Valley Rollergirls, Gnarly Manson, is an alternate for this game, as is Cincy Psych-O, who recently came out of retirement.
Saturday night will also see the Cincinnati Junior Rollergirls and Cincinnati Battering Rams playing as well. The Juniors kick things off at 4 p.m. against the newly formed Black-n-Blue Gems, a mashup of junior skaters from Gem City (Dayton) and Black-n-Bluegrass (Northern Kentucky). The men will play the Capital City Hooligans (Springfield, IL) after the Black Sheep game at approximately 8 p.m. I am happy to see both of these organizations make the jump with CRG to the fieldhouse.
This Saturday night looks to be a lot of fun and will be an important event in the history of the Cincinnati Rollergirls. Get your tickets and come out because it’s sure to be a memorable night.
Click here for more information about Saturday's home opener.
Cincinnati Black Sheep vs. Fort Wayne Bomb Squad (6 p.m.)
Black Sheep: Cherry Choke - 0 // Jas Hubbard - 135 // ¡I, Caramba! - 23 // Mama Crass - 26 // Poppy Chulo - 27 // Kitten Kicker - 30 // Jillian Dollaz - 34 // Ragdoll Ruby - 42 // Wheezy - 43 // Royal T - 533 // Anne Bones - 77 // Train N Pain - 79 // Nuk'em - 86 // Macrum - 93 // Alternate: Gnarly Manson - 49 // Alternate: Cincy Psych-O - 22
Bomb Squad: Legs Fordays - 00 // Adkins - 119 // Bad Kitty - 12 // Jungle McLuvin' - 22 // Marshall - 26 // goryJess - 27 // Goldieblox - 3 // Boomerang - 360 // Baker - 42 // Enya Grave - 6 // Ashley Fish - 618 // Speedin' Bayou - 626 // PushyCat - 69 // Unraveled KAOS - 807 // Venom - 811 // Feline Frenzy - 9