MILWAUKEE, WI–2012 was the year of the Dirty South Derby Girls, who did the unthinkable, both hosting and playing at WFTDA Championships. Despite losing their only game at that tournament, when the team came back this year, they made sure they were not to be underestimated, racking up 10 wins and just two losses over the season.
Atlantaâ€™s year started out strong, with big wins against Blue Ridge, Nashville, Tampa Bay, Ohio and DC earlier in the year, but it was the 2013 East Coast Derby Extravaganza where people sat up and took notice of Atlantaâ€™s capabilities. After a tough loss to WFTDA #1 Gotham, they went on to take a 193-150 win over Charm City; the game that was just one example of how Atlanta can chip away at score margins and remain focused until the final whistle–and that skill set paid off later in the year during D1 playoffs.
As second seed at Salem in September, Atlanta extinguished Toronto 219-171 in a surprisingly close quarter-final, before patiently working on Rat City in the semi-final to win 220-186. In both games, the strength behind the blockers showed–when Atlanta werenâ€™t hammering jammers and holding them in the pack, they were stretching out forwards, allowing one or two of their more skilled players to demoralize the opposition while using the engagement zone to their advantage.
As well as looking at each team as a whole, we’re featuring one skater from each team. For Atlanta, we caught up with team captain and fabulous sweater enthusiast Wild Cherri.
You’re coming up against London in your first bout. They’ve proven themselves as a team capable of upsets this year–how are you preparing for the match up?
We take every team seriously especially in this tournament. If you are good enough to be in this tournament you are good enough to possibly win the whole thing. DSDG is coming into this tournament focused on our game and our plans. Mentally we have grown over the past season and our bond on and off the track has become stronger.
How much does Atlanta study the teams you are going to play at a tournament?
We have had multiple times set aside to review our past games as well as review games of our competitors. We have made ourselves aware of possible scenarios so we are familiar with them should they come up during a game.
You were jamming last year but didn’t feature at Salem (despite pleas from the crowd!). Why did Atlanta switch it up, and who should we look out for on the jam line at Champs?
I maybe jammed a handful of times last season. I like to think that one of my strengths on the track is communication and that is the role that i fit into for DSDG. We have a talent lineup of jammers and they all excel in different areas. Jammunition has done well for us last year in post-season play and she is even better this year. Keep on eye on her.
And finally, which skaters on your team have been killing it this season that deserve a mention and why?
Anyone that is familiar with the Atlanta Rollergirls over the years knows Queen Loseyateefa who is a dominant force and a great leader. Alassin Sane has proven to be very reliable on the track. Someone else who has stepped up this season is Agent Maulder; she is a tenacious blocker. I’m really proud of all of DSDG. Everyone has pushed themselves to be better.
Looking at Atlantaâ€™s jammers, itâ€™s easy to see that Jammunition has been cleaning up this year. With 109 of the total 193 points scored against Charm at ECDX and 101 of the 219 against Toronto at Salem, Jammunition has proven herself as a force to be reckoned with. The jamming rotation also includes the consistently good Belle of the Brawl and Hollicidal, as well The Merchant of Menace, who has continued to perform as impressively this season as she did in 2012.
You canâ€™t talk about Atlantaâ€™s defence without mentioning the teamâ€™s powerhouse blocker Queen Loseyateefa. One of the chief reasons opposing jammers had such trouble in Salem, Queen Loseyateefaâ€™s brutal style of play has been a delight to watch this season. Pairing her with Rebel Yellow and Agent Maulder in the pack often leaves opposition jammers punished and stuck in the pack.
As for one-on-one blocking, you canâ€™t go past the strength and accuracy of Wild Cherri. (No, really, many players canâ€™t go past her.) Cherri was the talk of the town after transferring to Atlanta from Gotham, but full credit has to go to the rest of Atlantaâ€™s blockers, who have clearly worked hard to be as useful and fearsome as the Gotham alum in their midst.
The Dirty South Derby Girls come up against London Rollergirls in the first match-up of the tournament this weekend. Londonâ€™s recent run of upsets–including their nailbiting win against Rose City at Fort Wayne–should be cause for concern for Atlanta, but to ensure they donâ€™t have a repeat of last yearâ€™s champs, the team has been skating, studying and planning. Should they be victorious in that opening round game, Atlanta goes on to meet Texas. This familiar match-up was last seen in the final of the 2012 South Central regionals, when Texas squeaked out a 20-point win. Expect a similarly exciting result should the two teams meet again.
Atlanta Rollergirls All Stars â€“ The Dirty South Derby Girls
1013 Hollicidal // 12AM Rebel Yellow // 1701 Jean-Juke Picard // 1LB The Merchant of Menace // 2LBU Queen Loseyateefa // 32 Belle of the Brawl // 50 Jammunition // 504 Nattie Long Legs // 6 Wild Cherri // 73 Alassin Sane // 747 Ozzie Kamakazi // 762 Scout SnipeHer // 850 Bruze Orman // 8979 Switchblade Siouxsie // 90 Desi Scarnaz // B52 Amelia Scareheart // X13 Agent Maulder