The Force was strong with the 2-2 Cincinnati Rollergirls Black Sheep last Saturday night as they cruised to a 299-point victory at an away game against the Quad City Rollers. Could Episode IV of the home season this Saturday night bring a new hope for a winning season? Tank takes a look at the franchise as CRG prepares to battle the Twin City Derby Girls at CRG’s first Star Wars Night.
Wouldn’t sports be awesome if they were like a sports movie? The majority of them have the same plot when you think about it: A person or team that can’t win, a coach changes the team culture or the players bond together, a training montage happens, and then BOOM!!! #INSTAWINS!!!
Real life isn’t the movies, though. Things don’t change that easily. It takes months of practice, eating right, cross training and more to turn things around. Playing “Hearts on Fire” or “You’re the Best” on repeat isn’t going to bring you victories, but you should definitely listen to both of them with your headphones cranked to 10. In the real world, you learn more from defeat then you do victory, as those losses teach you what you need to change to win next time. The Cincinnati Black Sheep are on the right track back to being a WFTDA playoff team, but the road back to the top is going to have some potholes in it.
Let’s talk numbers. The Sheep are 2-2 on the season. The good news is they won their last game by their largest point margin (299 points) of all time. The bad news is they are currently riding a two-game home losing streak.
The last time I watched the Sheep live, they were taking on Blue Ridge at the Gardens. While they lost the game by 97 points, the defense really stood out to me; this is one of the key factors in the team becoming a contender again. Sailor Scary and Nuk’em are excelling in their new roles as being the linchpins in their respective packs with their backward skating and reinforcing walls. Both of these strong athletes are tremendous at being the last line of defense when needed with Scary using her long legs to cut off the inside lane and Nuk’em’s trademark knockout power.
But there were track cuts. So many track cuts. So. Many. Track. Cuts. While the defense is starting to come, together the jammer corps is still trying to figure things out early in the season. The facts are they are down two of their best jammers, Wheezy, who is out recovering from knee surgery, and Tru D. Vicious, who is working her way back from a broken ankle. This puts a lot of pressure on people who normally wouldn’t jam to take some time with the star, and thus jammer penalties are going to happen. Make no mistake, it takes a lot of time and experience to become a top-flight jammer. It also takes a lot of muscle, speed and athletic talent, which is something Jas Hubbard has. I am high as a giraffe’s ass on this woman’s potential, and again she had moments of brilliance.
The Lambs continue to steam roll through this season with a perfect 4-0 record. I would love to see this team in a B team tournament this year, as they are well-balanced team that is excelling across the board. Unless the opposing team has a tough wall game, the Lambs are unstoppable, and even then they have the jammers who can fight their way through.
I know I sound like a broken record at this point when I bring up the mix of veteran and younger players on this squad, but it is a major part of what makes this team run like a well-oiled machine. Cherry Choke always seems to be in the right position at the right time. Her ability to move from the back to the front of the pack on the inside line is almost as quick as Nightcrawler’s ability to teleport. I was reading back through my notes on this game when I came to an entry that read “VC: Gritty, DGAF.” I love her jamming and the attitude she brings with it. The other team could be armed with machetes and claw hammers and she would still skate through the pack.
I was also impressed by the wall work of Chainsaw, Cincy Pysch-O and Jennocide, who at one point during the game created a defensive wall that was so strong they were able to hold back the Blue Ridge jammer that allowed Hot Slice to get out of the box and then get lead jammer. The key thing that made this possible was Jillian Dollaz creating a bridge to keep her team’s wall legal. All of these little things mixed together are what is making this team a winner.
This Saturday night is Star Wars Night as CRG takes on the Twin City Derby Girls of Champaign-Urbana, IL. This double-header will see the Violent Lambs vs. the Dead Ringers and the Black Sheep vs. the Evil Twins. The Sheep are currently ranked ahead of the Evil Twins in the WFTDA rankings. To improve their ranking, they not only have to win, but they also must unleash some heavy offensive firepower, which they proved they have the capability to do this season with their almost 300-point win over Quad City. Thanks for reading and may the force be with you and the Cincinnati Rollergirls this Saturday night.
For tickets and more information, click here.
Can’t make the game? Watch ICRCTV’s Livestream Presented by Tom + Chee here.
Cincinnati Violent Lambs vs. Twin City Dead Ringers (6 p.m.)
Violent Lambs: Annie Tomical 91 // Big Ugly 72 // Cherry Choke 0 // Cincy Psych-O 22 // Hot Slice 71 // ¡I, Caramba 23 // Jennocide 14 // Jillian Dollaz 14 // Mama Crass 26 // Poppy Chulo 27 // Royal T 533 // Ruthless Chris 5 // Sista Shovechild 2 // Skunna Hurt 69 // V.C. 96 // Alternates: Chainsaw 80 // coco 48
Dead Ringers: Betty Rocker 1104 // Lil Booty Two Shoes 19 // Nikita 28 // Lisa Hatchet 3 // Bobbie Shotz 312 // Holy Steamroller 316 // Jamma Wockee 35 // Brass Monke 41 // Natty Slice 67 // Polly Nator 8 // Therafist 9 // Houchebag M7
Cincinnati Black Sheep vs. Twin City Evil Twins (approx. 7:45 p.m.)
Black Sheep: Anne Bones 77 // CandyKICKass! 32 // Ellie Stab’er 631 // Hannah Barbaric 85 // Jas Hubbard 135 // Kitten Kicker 30 // La Bruja 66 // Macrum 93 // MIRDERHER 44 // Nuk’em 86 // Penn Tupanga 360 // Pistol Whippin’ Wendy 38 // Sailor Scary 92 // Sk8 Crime 50 // Alternates: Sista Shovechild 2 // Big Ugly 72
Evil Twins: Dame Sangre 0 // Lil Booty Two Shoes 19 // Mrs. T 1913 // Regina SP.E.C.T.R.E. 2 // Anthrobrawlogist 2007 // Emme Mortal 349 // Sasha Smashmouth 4 // Brass Monke 41 // Bubbly Brawler 42 // Bunny Mcbones 703 // Terror Misu 77 // Therafist 9 // Patty Quake 96 // Tommy Knocker T2 // Alternates: Jamma Wockee 35 // Polly Nator 8