by Jim Almy
With championship playoffs beginning in Sacramento in a couple weeks you might think that the Rat City Rollergirls All-Star Team (AST) would rest their bones or find some token opponents to help them refine their game, test new strategies.
But no. This Friday, August 22, AST will take the track in Portland against the internationally fourth ranked Rose City Rollers’ Wheels of Justice. As their ranking suggests, WOJ is not a token team. Then again, neither is AST, who played tough against another top ten team, the Minnesota RollerGirls, in an August 9 bout at KeyArena. Minnesota, ranked 7th, held on in that bout for a hard fought 150-127 win.
Head AST Coach Ho Chi Danh commented after that match on how great it was to watch how sixteenth ranked AST performed against a top ten team. “We know we can hang with Minnesota,” he said. “We learned a lot about each other.”
Learning about the Wheels of Justice could be the equivalent of picking up another master’s degree in sixty physical minutes. WOJ are 8-1 this year. Their only loss, with an accepting nod to the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) rankings formula, came to third ranked Texas. WOJ dropped that May 3 bout to the Texecutioners 274-194.
AST and WOJ have three common opponents. WOJ beat Minnesota in Los Angeles, July 19, 163-105. AST lost to that same team earlier in August 150-127.
Also on July 19, WOJ beat Angel City Derby Girls’ Hollywood Scarlets 179-166. AST played the Scarlets in LA at the end of June in the Pac Destruction mega bout, an encounter that went against the Rat City team 250-79. Also, both teams have skated against Montreal. AST won a May 16 home bout against the New Skids on the Block 202-124. The next day New Skids went to Portland where WOJ thumped them 306-109.
Rat City’s B All-Star team, the Rain of Terror (ROT), will skate in Portland the next night, Saturday, August 23, against Rose City’s Axles of Annihilation.
Both bouts are in Oak Park and will begin at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7p.m.