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.
New skater Duke Jukem, of Austin Anarchy looks back over his first MRDA season.
What has been your MRDA highlight for 2019?
When we won our bout against OKMRD in April in the last jam with so many people missing and my mid-game injury. And then when it came time to do the victory lap celebration and I couldn’t because of my sprained ankle, Spank picked me up and put me on her back and ran me around with the team. It Felt v.great that the team was so clutch and that everyone was so happy to help me enjoy the game even though I had that ankle injury.
Have any other moments stood out personally for you?
Honestly, I cherish every practice we have. I haven’t met a nicer and more hilarious group of people probably ever. Every moment = Best moment
What does it mean to be a part of NAQ?
I’m excited to be a part of NAQ because I will get to see and experience the skills and caliber of other teams and players. I’m quite new to roller derby so seeing how people approach different roller derby situations has really helped me grow as a skater and being at NAQ may be the best way for me to improve.
What will you be working on during the tournament?
Being so new to derby/skating I’m not really sure? Probably everything? I really just want to try my hardest in every jam and learn what works for me and what doesn’t.
Who are you personally looking forward to facing on track and why?
Smol blockers. Because… I am a smol jammer
Who’s the one to watch on your team?
Honestly, everyone. Ill Nino is a boulder and will plow through any wall. Wombo Combo is dextrous and if a seam opens up in a wall you can bet your bottom dollar he’s getting through it. Sharknado is the ultimate DBZ fusion of the two and will try and bust through a wall and if it doesn’t work he’ll just juke around it. Naked Alien because you’ll think you have cleared the pack of blockers and out of nowhere you’ll get your world rocked and as you fly out of bounds you’ll be wondering how in the world this happened. Doc, because he gets lower than a limbo world champion. Trexx because one hit from him will leave you reeling in pain. Joliet Jane because she invented plows. So yeah… Should look out for everyone.
If there was an award for ‘outstanding contribution’ behind the scenes in your league, who would get it and why?
Easily Spank, Ill Nino, and Naked Alien. Spank and Ill Nino are always helping with practices, logistics, administration things, etc. They were also the two people who always checked in on me and looked out for me at practices when I was getting my skates under me. If it wasn’t for their constant encouragement and advice I probably would be a much less developed skater and derby player. Also, Naked Alien because of his cool head, amazing skating abilities, and his constant willingness to train more, train better, and train harder. His work and practice ethic I think is something we all strive to have.