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2019 Champs – chat with Golden State Heat

Golden State Heat, US

The Golden State Heat (MRDA rank #7) in California is a merger between Slick City Rollers, who had originally dissolved in 2016, and the Drive-By City Rollers. They are the premier men’s roller derby league in Southern California. 

They have had a great season this year and were on a five-game winning streak, before losing to highly ranked Vancouver Murder (MRDA Rank #3) by a slender 25 points at the Big O in May. They have come a long way; from a team ranked high enough to ‘possibly’ get an invite to qualifiers, into a team that secured a place at MRDA Champs. 

“This season has been incredible! We have so many skaters with differing levels of experience and skating style,” member Scotty Trippen told MRDA; “however thanks to our great coaching staff, we’ve come together to work our new system which has proven successful.”  

Golden State comes into the tournament seeded 7th, however, their sole performance against Vancouver earlier this year puts them in a great position to challenge the higher-seeded teams. They first play the 10th seed Kamiquads (MRDA rank #11) from Montpellier, France, an agile and battle-hardened outfit who have played twice as many games this year as Golden State. A win here will see them play a tough game against the powerful Magic City Misfits (MRDA rank #2 – who recently defeated the Gatekeepers). If that goes well for them they’ll take on either Manchester NWO, or face the possibility of an exciting rematch against Vancouver. Otherwise, they’ll play consolation games against either Denver or Austin. 

“We are extremely excited to be at Champs, to say the least. For being a newly merged team, we’ve surpassed any expectations we had for ourselves”  says Trippen

MEET THE TEAM…

Name: Christy
Position: Coach

Why did you get involved in derby?

I’ve been involved with sports most of my life, and I have roller skated almost as long. I was in my late twenties and I was starting to miss being a part of a team or something bigger than myself. A few childhood friends were playing roller derby at the time and asked me to come check it out. At the time, we had quite a few leagues in our town so I visited the practices of multiple teams. I was immediately attracted to the physicality of the sport, but hesitant because of the attire. Eventually, I picked the team that was charity-driven. They also happened to skate out of my home rink where I used to figure skate when I was a child, and where I worked as a teenager.

How is derby different from the other sports you’ve played? 

I’ve played basketball, volleyball, softball, etc…Roller derby is different because offense and defense can be and is played at the same time. There isn’t always a distinction between the time to play offense and defense as a team unit.

What do you think your skaters would say about you? 

I think my skaters would say I’m intense and that I have high expectations! I hope that they would say or know that no matter how intense I can be, it’s because I love them and what I do. I just want them to be the best versions of themselves that they can.

How does being an athlete inspire you to do good?

The inspiration to good or well, comes from the desire not to let the team down! Realizing that the team as a collective is more important than the individual, is what helps me stay focused and on track.

What is your ultimate Roller Derby goal?

To see my team take the Championship a time or two…

What is your mantra?

Work Hard, Play Hard!!!

Who is your sporting hero and why? 

Wow, too many to list…I will go with Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan because both of these athletes are intense and tenacious in their training. They worked harder than anyone else in the league during their times and never forgot the fundamentals. 

What is your go-to Karaoke song? 

Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

What is your 90s jam? 

Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks