Inactive against competition for over eight months, the primary travel team of the St. Chux Derby Chix (SCDC) has been stalking like a caged tiger waiting to be released.
The St. Charles County-based roller derby squad haven’t collectively skated against an opponenent since last May and aims to pounce at its season opener this weekend.
This Saturday, the Pack in Black, currently ranked #70 by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), meets #74 Omaha Rollergirls at 7 p.m. at SCDC’s new venue for its 2017 campaign, Lamborghini Gold Coast Athletic Centre (49 Lawrence St., St. Charles, MO.)
St. Chux, who has twice gained entry into the WFTDA Division 2 International playoffs, was on the outside last post-season due to the competitive nature of the division. The Pack in Black finished 2016 with a 1-6 record but a majority of those losses came against teams that inevitably claimed post-season entry.
SCDC prefers to wipe that slate completely clean. The upcoming year brings hard-charging goals and returning veterans, as well as newly-acquired skaters, results in newfound optimism heading into Saturday’s meeting with the Nebraskans.
“Pulling out a big ‘W’ to start the season would be the bees’ knees,” said Pack In Black Captain Shakilla. “It would be just the right catalyst to light the fire and hunger I see within every one of my teammates. Plus, it would make that ‘after beer’ that much more rewarding.”
There’s plenty of St. Chux vets that aim to sip victorious lager, including returnees Pixie Dust-Ruction, Whip L’Ash, Judy Boom, Slaughterhaus, Big Red, Calamity Cat, Dani Disaster and Spill Murray.
“Murray has really stepped up her game this season,” said Shakilla of the slotted jammer. “She surprises me every time and should not be underestimated.”
SCDC’s most intriguing asset heading into the weekend is its collective of newcomers with prior flat-track rotations. Ankle BiteHer, Annieville Horror, Rocky Who, #smashtag, Bad Mutha T and Bad Bear are all set to impress this season and have already done so in early scrimmages.
“We have a lot of experienced new blood this year,” said Shakilla. “Horror and BiteHer have brought their finesse of jamming (and) Who, #smashtag, and T have brought a variety of blocking styles that compliment us well.”
St. Chux plans on utilizing all resources to claim a season-opening victory Saturday. Their comparably-ranked opponent desires the same.
#74 Omaha Rollergirls finished 2016 with a 7-3 WFTDA-sanctioned record. A lot of their wins were against lower-ranked competition but they did manage to stay close to current #57 Paradise City last June to keep their calculated rankings on an upward trajectory.
Like St. Chux, Saturday’s meeting also launches the Nebraskans’ 2017 flat-track campaign.
“I like the word ‘campaign’ here,” said Omaha Co-Captain Amelia Airhurt. “It has military connotations, which is kinda our thing. We’re down an amazing player, Seoul Crusher, because she is off serving her country overseas in the Army. As for this year’s campaign, we have new blood, some new ideas, and that along with our veteran skaters and work ethic, make us excited to get it going.”
Even with the aforementioned Crusher’s absence, over half of last year’s charter returns, including veteran jammers Rady Ruck and Holmes Sweet Holmes.
“Keep an eye out for some of the impressive Gumbi-esque moves and skills of Ruck,” forewarned Airhurt. “Our jammer skill sets across the board have improved and hopefully they will show you all some of their fancy footwork.”
Omaha Co-Captain Crash Hartless, Southern Discomfort, Molly Massacre and Eblastgirl were members of the 2014 squad that last reached WFTDA Division 2 playoff entry and A-team returnees Hip e Chick, Genni Cash, Rylan Gotasling, Meg Skeeto, Toxic Tina and Sharon Misery are tentatively slotted for starting rotations.
“In the off season, we had the opportunity to train with some very skilled skaters and we’ve really working to apply what they taught us,” added Airhurt of the team’s recent sweat equity heading.
There is also a plethora of hard-charging personnel to make sure all gaps were completely filled the newly-minted charter.
“We’ve got a couple transfers, Beast of Birdin, Ash Woopin, and (Omaha B-team) Captain, Cream Ur Soda,” said Airhurt. “On top of that, we have an amazing and motivated crop of new skaters: Kiki Strike, K.O. Kitty, Scaredy Cat and Ash Killum.”
The season missive for Omaha is comparable to the St. Charles County contingent.
“The goal is always to make the D2 tournament,” said Airhurt. “Barring that, we want to continue toward that goal, grow our team, and improve our league standing each year. We’re excited to play SCDC and know they are a strong team. It should be a great game.”
Saturday’s twin-bill also features a b-team match-up featuring SCDC’s Helles Belles against Omaha Rollergirls AAA. Shakilla feels that a vocal contingent supporting the locals at their new venue in historic downtown St. Charles certainly gives the Pack in Black an emotional boost.
“A large crowd would be amazing!” the captain said. “Nothing gives a skater the chills more than hearing their support. We love our fans!”
A SCDC victory would be the cherry on top and provides the catalyst for the league’s overall missive of pushing upward in the governing body’s calculated hierarchy and inevitably returning to the WFTDA’s post-season complexion.
“The ultimate goal is to play in the Division 2 playoffs this season,” says Shakilla. “The backup goal is to climb the rankings as high as we can. Winning is definitely a spirit infuser for that.”
Tickets are $15 at the door while children under 12 are free. Advance tickets priced at $12, group tickets of eight or more for $10 and a three-game local season package for $10 per game can be purchased by GOING TO THIS LINK.
For more information on the St. Chux Derby Chix, go to their official website.
For more information on the Omaha Rollergirls, go to their official website.
Arch City Sports will be at Saturday’s game and will have a full report posted on Sunday.