As the sun begins to set over the El Paso skyline, the Sun City Roller Girls are getting ready to kick off their first bout of the 2017 season. Nestled behind the El Paso County Coliseum sits the Judging Arena- home to “La Llorona”. What exactly is La Llorona you ask? No, it’s not the scary, wailing woman your momma warned you about! La Llorona is the large, creaky, yet durable roller derby banked track that the Sun City Roller Girls call their very own. On this night, La Llorona is ready to host two teams as they battle it out for the first time since last year- Las Catrinas and the Chuco Town Chulas. The last time these two teams faced off was during October 2016. The Chulas put up a great fight, but in the end the score of 139 to 164 favoured Las Catrinas and they took home the Season 8 Championship trophy.
Now, four months later on this cold February night, the Chuco Town Chulas are ready for redemption. The Chulas, wearing blue and black on their Season 9 debut, are skating with only nine players this evening. Roller derby is a tough sport- and players have to miss bouts due to injury, illness, or personal reasons. The Chulas are ready for this challenge, especially since eight out of their nine players are returning skaters, or “veterans”. Las Catrinas faced a similar challenge on this evening. Wearing their purple colors proudly, the “dead girls” as they like to be called, are skating with only nine players as well. The Catrinas lost a notable number of veteran players and are skating with four new players this season, or “rookies” as they’re called.
The first whistle blows and the first jam of the night begins. Las Catrinas’ jammer Kitty Killmore faces off against the Chulas’ jammer Lady Latte Pain. The Chulas gain lead jammer status although at the end of the jam Catrinas take the lead 10 to 5. The Catrinas further increased their lead over the Chulas when Raven Claw-Her scored 11 points over Lady Latte Pain’s 0 points, leaving the scoreboard at 25 to 9 in favor of Las Catrinas. During this jam, blocker Kitty Killmore made some notable, hard-hitting blocks against the Chulas defense, allowing Raven Claw-Her to quickly make her way through the pack. In her first bout ever, rookie player Wendy Scarling earned lead jammer status over Chula jammer Willa Mean Streak, giving Las Catrinas another 5 points. The largest point score of the entire bout occurred during the first period. The Chulas’ Sweet Child O’Crime did a fantastic job of breaking up Las Catrinas’ defensive wall, causing havoc and allowing Chulas jammer Lady Latte to score 18 points.
The second highest scoring jam of the night belonged to Las Catrinas. Kitty Killmore brutally held back and blocked Chulas jammer Lady Latte, long enough to give Catrinas jammer Raven Claw-Her the opportunity to get lead jammer status. With a strong blocker wall consisting of Kitty Killmore, Wendy Scarling, and Rosy Ty-her, Las Catrinas jammer Raven Claw-Her was able to put 14 points on the scoreboard. The first half of the bout also saw the grand reveal of the “Penalty Wheel”, which consists of challenges such as “Tug of War”, “Push Cart”, “Relay Race”, and “Hula Hoop”. The penalty wheel landed on Push Cart, so two Catrinas players and two Chulas players took to the track for a good, old-fashioned push cart race. Las Catrinas raced past the Chulas and won, giving Las Catrinas one extra point and costing the Chulas one point. At halftime, the score of 95 to 68 favored Las Catrinas, although this 27-point difference still left the Chulas with a fighting chance to make a comeback during the second half.
The second half of the bout was brutal, with plenty of pile-ups, tripping, and player fatigue that shows how brutal and challenging roller derby can be. Notable jams from Knasty helped Las Catrinas further extend their lead, although Chulas players Willa Meanstreak, Sweet Child, and La Peleonera put up strong fights both offensively and defensively. Both teams played their hearts out, yet in the end, the victory belonged to Las Catrinas. With a final score of 189 to 113, Las Catrinas took home the win and set the stage for this season’s derby bouts. So make sure you come out and catch our second bout this season- the Sexecutioners will take on Las Viudas Negras on March 26 so mark your calendars and support your local roller derby!
-Derby hugs & kisses, Mazzy Scar #53