NAQ 2019 : Chat with Philadelphia Hooligans

An epic weekend in Aberdeen, Scotland for the European leg of the qualifiers saw Kamiquadz and Manneken Beasts gain a spot in the Champs. Sadly, the Beasts were forced to decline their invitation, but the Kamis will form part of the top twelve teams who will face off at the MRDA Championships co-hosted by Denver Roller Derby, October 11 – 13. 

We’re now a moments away from NAQ 2019 which sees Denver Ground Control, Mohawk Valley Roller Derby, Lane County Concussion, Philadelphia Hooligans, Austin Anarchy, Chicago Bruise Brothers, Race City Rebels and Toronto Roller Derby battle it out for the final few spots. The event, which is co-hosted by Mohawk Valley Roller Derby, takes place this weekend in Rome, New York.

Here we catch up with Philadelphia Hooligan’s Silas Lilly AKA Smash Ketch’em, and talk about their season highlights. 

What has been your MRDA highlight for 2019?  

Watching eight of our teammates give everything they had during The Big O. You can’t challenge the heart within a Hooligan.

Have any moments stood out personally for you? 

I think that April Angst was a big test to what we had to offer this year and we walked away with a good sense of what we could accomplish while also appreciating the growth of a team like the Golden State Heat. 

What does it mean to be a part of NAQ? 

It’s a chance to show the world that the Hooligans are ever fluid. We grow, adapt, and change year to year but we never lose the magic; that makes this team who we are. 

What will you be working on during the tournament?

As a team, I think our focus is really on dynamic teamwork. Personally, this will be my first time playing at NAQ and I’m really focusing on making an impact however I can. 

Who are you personally looking forward to facing on track and why? 

I love Austin. They’re a fantastic bunch of humans and I could play them thirty times a year and still enjoy every moment. They play a tough game, but they still manage to be a class act and fun to be around. 

Who’s the one to watch on your team? 

Grasso is honestly one of the most technically sound skaters I’ve ever met, but still has some of the most outrageous footwork around. He jams, he blocks,  he sets the bar for us all. Personally, he’s the standard to which I set my growth each practice. 

If there was an award for outstanding contribution behind the scenes in your league, who would get it and why? 

Schuler is the unspoken hero of the Hooligans. He does a great job of being knowledgeable about MRDA while also being a solid, reasonable voice throughout our league as a whole. Personally, he’s not afraid to challenge your point of view respectfully, but he’s quite open to outside perspectives too. I remember specifically saying that he had the potential to be the future of our team when he came aboard and he’s certainly fulfilled that notion.