March 21st was the home opener for Old Capitol City Roller Derby, and featured both the All-Stars and the Ped Maulers in a double header against Team United Roller Derby from Des Moines, Iowa. Both leagues had faced off last season in Des Moines, but TU was bringing a new mix of skaters to Iowa City. Many skaters from the Des Moines Derby Dames had recently joined Team United, making their “A” team poignantly called the Des Moines United All-Stars, but their “B” team retained the TU Blue Ribbon Bullies name. With a very deep bench of many experienced skaters, they brought two hard games to Iowa City, but OCCRD was ready for them.
The All-Stars took the track, and the first jam was a good indication of how the whole night was going to play out: fast, aggressive, and exhausting. It looked as if Lolli Pop Ya for Des Moines United had gotten out first, but it was with a high block, so she was sent to the box. Not realizing a penalty was made and still stuck in the pack, Left 4 Deadwards immediately looked to her pivot, Jenna JAM, to pass the star. Since one jammer went to the box, and the other passed the star, there was no lead jammer and the jam went a full two minutes, resulting in a 13-8 score in favor of Des Moines.
Chaotic packs required great teamwork. A Few Screws Lucy, Ophelia Fracture, and Lady Hulk show how it’s done. Photo by Danforth Johnson.
It was Old Cap’s turn for a jammer penalty next, as Triple D Zaster’s hard fight in the pack resulted in a low block. She sat with a few of her blockers as well, which meant that Lolo Gunz was able to put up 15 points. Des Moines continued to control the score with lead jam status and another jammer penalty by Deadwards.
Ophelia Fracture picked the scoring back up with three points, followed by two grand slams by Bat R Up, which brought the score to 53-21, with Des Moines in the lead.
At the end of the night the All-Stars won… in penalties! The “hot board” shows which skaters have five penalties, and circle them if they have six. Seven equal a foul out.
The Old Cap All-Stars had a hard time putting up points in the next ten jams, with Outlaw Jessie Pains only able to score four in one jam, but they also slowed the rate at which Des Moines was scoring, even keeping them scoreless for four of those jams.
For the rest of the first half, OCCRD was more consistent at putting points on the board, while Des Moines was consistently sending skaters to the box, as Lolli and Thunder Cat had five penalties by half time, while Sunami and Karried Away sat at four. Des Moines maintained the lead though, 114-53.
Des Moines took the break to cool down and regain control of their penalties, which lead to another tough, 30-minute battle for the All-Stars. Bat R Up and Jenna JAM came out of this game the most successful for Old Cap, with 25 and 23 points respectively, and JAM acquired 15 of those during a power jam the second half.
Blockers worked hard at playing offense for their jammers this game, with Ophelia Fracture, and Outlaw Jessie Pains even receiving star passes at times. Amandatory Sentence and Lady Hulk helped keep their packs together while PyroMAGniac and A Few Screws Lucy were solid bricks in the Old Cap walls.
After an exhausting, yet exciting 60 minutes, Des Moines took the win 245-87.
The Maulers hit the track next, and were held scoreless until about ten minutes in, but then quickly put up 13 points over three jams. Amelia No Heart came out the top scorer overall, with 14, followed by rookie Dis-ar-Rae with 6, and Rank Williams with 3.
Pyro and JAM played double duty during the double header, by skating in both bouts, and stayed strong until the very end of the night. Captain Death Nell kept her packs together defensively, while AJ Renegade split her time as a feisty blocker and agile jammer. ThumpHer was a power house in the pack, but some penalty trouble while jamming led to her eventual foul out, where she joined Halihurtin’ on the sidelines.
Skates in Circles blocks with newest Ped Mauler, Dis-ar-Rae, while Death Nell keeps them together. Check out the new Mauler logo as well! Photo by Danforth Johnson.
With the final score of 353-30, the Ped Maulers showed many of their strengths despite the hard loss, and the score did not reflect their skill and strategy executed on the track. They continually adapted and gave every jam their all.
Overall, the double header featured some good, strategic derby, showcasing many talented skaters in the state of Iowa, and was a great test for the All-Stars leading up to their April 4th bout against Fargo Moorhead. The Ped Maulers will skate again on April 18th against the Brewcity Battlestars, when both teams make a trip to Milwaukee.