Denver Ground Control, US
Denver Ground Control are your hosts for the 2019 MRDA Champs. They kick off the tournament off with a highly anticipated game against Austin Anarchy, who recently beat them by a slender nine points.
“We are excited to open the tournament with a rematch against Austin. We had a rough second half against them at NAQ Qualifiers and are eager to redeem ourselves.” – Pete Broderick
The team had a good run at The Big O earlier this year, thrashing the Wheels of Mayhem, Philly and then the Aftershocks, before losing to Bridgetown by forty points.
They will enjoy the usual hometown advantages like familiarity with the venue and track surface, plus the fact they can all sleep in their own beds between games. However, the biggest benefit will be Denver’s ability to play at altitude. This is important, as the city lies one mile above sea level, so just breathing takes effort.
Denver comes into this tournament at ninth seed. There is fierce competition in this part of the bracket between seeds #6 and -#10, however, Denver has a good chance to climb the rankings.
If they win their game with Austin, then they take on the fearsome Gatekeepers. Otherwise, they’ll play either the Kamiquadz, Golden State, or in the case of an upset, Magic City Misfits.
MEET THE TEAM…
Position: Blocker #40 (C)
What is it about roller derby that appealed to you?
I’ve been ice and roller skating most of my life and spent a lot of time growing up playing ice hockey. As an adult, I played regularly in adult rec ice hockey leagues. Roller derby offered a level of physical play that’s generally not allowed in rec league hockey. The biggest difference is the physicality. Most adult ice hockey leagues are “no-checking,” and allow only minimal contact. Roller Derby allows me to play a full-contact sport. The community is also incredibly diverse, welcoming and accepting, and I’m glad to be a part of it.
What do you think your coach would say about you?
I think they would say I’m a dependable and consistent blocker.
What is your ultimate Roller Derby goal?
I would ultimately like to retire knowing that we’ve built a sustainable model for Men’s roller derby here in Denver and that the team will continue to build on its success.
What mental tool do you use under pressure?
I regularly do deep breathing exercises both off track and on the bench to focus and settle down.
Who is your sporting hero?
I changed my number to #40 in honor of Charlie O’Connell when he passed away in 2015. O’Connell was one of the top stars of the “old” roller derby and played for the New York Chiefs and S.F. Bay Bombers. I know it’s a completely different sport that we play today, but I wish more modern roller derby athletes knew about the stars of the old days and the history that we grew out of.
What is your 90s jam?
I’m 44 years old — all my jams are 90s jams!