After an undefeated 2013 home season, the Cincinnati Rollergirls look ahead to some tough competition this summer. Tank has a preview.

At some point in our lives everyone has to take a journey, not a trip but a journey. Leonidas took one at the beginning of 300 to kill a wolf and become a man. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a trilogy about a hobbit and his quest with a ring. And now the Cincinnati Rollergirls prepare to embark on their own journey known as the 2013 travel season. To reach their goal of the Division I playoffs, they are going to need to be confident, focused, and work as a team to make this adventure a successful one.
June is a big month for CRG and they are jumping right into the fire with some tough games. On Sunday, June 16, they lock horns with old North Central rival, the Detroit Derby Girls, in a closed game in Columbus. The Black Sheep are 0-3 lifetime against Detroit, who are currently ranked 16th in the WFTDA and are 3-3 on the season. DDG was once the second best team in the division (no North Central team has ever beaten Windy City), but Minnesota, Naptown and Arch Rival have all beaten them. And the night before they play Cincinnati they play Ohio, a team that has become a serious contender and that barely missed the WFTDA Championships last year. That being said, Detroit is a team that plays physical derby with a lot of speed. Basically they can do what Cincinnati can do, and they have been doing it for years.
The score matters in this one. Cincinnati is riding a 9 game winning streak. These two teams are a measuring stick for each other. If Detroit blows out Cincinnati, it means that DDG is still a strong contender in the region and that Cincy isn’t ready to touch the upper levels of the division yet. If Cincinnati keeps it close but loses, it means they are on the come-up and that Detroit will need to step up their training to try and break into the WFTDA Championships later this year. If Cincinnati beats Detroit, it’s a big deal. They would not only beat a team they have never defeated before but would do so after a tough 6-9 season and would leap frog them up the rankings ladder. This would mean CRG is a team that can go deep into the playoffs.
Two weeks later, the 27th ranked Mad Rollin’ Dolls invite Cincinnati into hospitable Madison, WI. Madison is a cool town and their people are friendly, but all of that goes out the window on the track as they play hard-nosed roller derby. After a few rough seasons of their own, Madison is on the upswing as well. The last time these two teams met, Madison bulldozed Cincinnati by a tune of 286-91. CRG has never beaten Madison and are 0-3 against them lifetime. This includes two back-to-back playoff losses that kept Cincinnati out of the WFTDA Championships in 2009 and 2010. Since 2010 though Madison has not been nearly as dominant and has suffered some brutal losing streaks. This season, they are 4-2 including going 2-0 at Brew Ha Ha with two big wins over DC and Old Capitol City.
This is another interesting match-up. Both of these teams are in the middle of the North Central and a win here is important for both of them. Whoever gets the W proves that they can play on the upper tier of the region. If Cincinnati wins, they will take a solid leap forward. If Madison loses, it doesn’t kill them, but it will definitely drop them back.
Also this month, a special attraction bout between the Cincinnati Rollergirls and Northern Kentucky’s Black-n-Bluegrass Rollergirls will take place at the Bank of Kentucky Center for the second annual Crosstown Knockdown on Saturday, June 22. This year Cincinnati’s B team, the Violent Lambs take on BBRG’s A Team, the Blackouts, while CRG’s C Team, the Flock Ewes, meet BBRG’s B Team, the Shiners.
Last year, the Black Sheep dominated the Blackouts, 212-107. While Cincinnati’s B team vs. Black-n-Bluegrass’s A team would seem to be a closer game, I expect the Lambs to get the win. The sheer amount of talent Cincinnati has this year runs deep and scrimmaging against the Sheep on a regular basis will have the Lambs more then ready to take on their rivals from across the Ohio River. The Lambs roster is filled with heavy hitters (Big Ugly, La Bruja, Juwana Hurt, Cincy Pysch-O, Mirderher, and Railroad) and a speed machine jammer corps of I, Caramba!, Ruthless Chris and Hot Slice. The Ewes roster has many of the same players on it, so I am looking for two Cincinnati wins that day.
The Cincinnati Rollergirls organization will then observe their usual July vacation. They will return to the track in August for away double-headers against the Nashville Rollergirls (Sheep and Lambs) and the Hard Knox Roller Girls (Lambs and Ewes) and will likely schedule a few more games before the playoffs in the fall. A successful season for them would be making the Division one playoffs and finishing in the Top 25.