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 Lane County Concussion skaters Dr B and Grimes and Punishment give us a heads up on their season so far.
What has been your MRDA highlight for 2019?
DB: A highlight for our team this year was moving up in rankings from 28-16 and earning an invite to the NAQ. We have been working super hard the last two seasons to earn a spot here. We can’t wait to show the world who LCC is 🙂
GP: Co-hosting and going 3-0 at The Big O tournament. The Big O is always a highlight in our season, and we always put in a lot of volunteer hours to help put on what we consider to be one of the biggest and best roller derby tournaments in the world. This year, we stepped up and took on the role of co-hosts with our sister league Emerald City, all while playing and winning our full slate of three games, something we’ve never done before.
Have any moments stood out personally for you?
DB: Probably our game against Bridgetown this season. We destroyed the Flat Track Stats prediction for the game. We were supposed to lose with an 11.25 to 1 ratio and ended out with a 2:1 ratio and we earned every point of the game. It was rough, but definitely a highlight for me lol.
GP: Close games tend to stay with you, especially when you’re wearing the star for the last jam, so our game at The Big O against Puget Sound sticks out. It was a hard fought game and they had a strong comeback in the second half, cutting our lead to single-digits before the last jam. I got lead and looked to my coach to call it off after the period clock expired, but she was telling me to keep racking up points, so I did. The trust my coaches and team had in me to score points and say clean was pretty incredible.
What does it mean to be a part of NAQ?
DB: It’s a huge honor! LCC has been around for almost ten years and this is the first time that we’ve been invited to the NAQ. We are excited to display our skills out on the track.
GP: It’s hard to overstate how excited we are to be a part of NAQ. For years, we set a lofty goal at the beginning of a season, whether it’s to beat a specific team, to reach a specific ranking, or since the introduction of the qualifier, to get invited to the postseason. Many of us have been skating with LCC for five years or more and have seen a lot of ups and downs. Some years our goals were modest and we still didn’t achieve them, but for the last few years, we’ve been working hard and accomplishing increasing aspirations. NAQ is the culmination of all that hard work and effort and we’re ready to show the world who we are.
What will you be working on during the tournament?
DB: As a team, we are going to do what we do best, and that’s playing together, super strong and controlled. Personally I’m going to be working on harnessing my skills and playing both a mental and physical game making sure to capitalize on all the things presented to me.
GP: Personally, I’ll be working on playing patient, smart and with intensity. This means trusting my team both defensively and offensively, knowing they will hold their jammer to give me time to do my thing and get lead, knowing the offense will be there when I need it, but not needing either by playing with the intensity to create opportunities on my own.
Who are you personally looking forward to facing on track and why?
DB: I’m excited for Chicago! We played them last year at BrewHaHa and it was a fun game with lots of hard-hitting action. I’m also excited to play Mohawk as we’ve never played them before and we love stranger derby haha.
GP: I’m looking forward to playing the Chicago Bruise Brothers again; We had a great game with them at BrewHaHa in 2018. They’re our opening matchup at NAQ, so they’re the only team we’re really guaranteed to play, but they’ve been climbing in the ranks too so I’m excited for the rematch.
Who’s the one to watch on your team?
DB: I’d watch out for Psychotic Angel #321. She’s one of our recent matriculated juniors and is a beast on the track. She is a 2016 JRDA Olympic and 2018 World Cup gold medal skater. She definitely owns the track and has given new life to our blocking walls.
GP: I would keep an eye out for PhotoBomb. He’s one of our best blockers, but for whatever reason I feel like he gets overlooked. I have a harder time getting past him at practice than almost anyone, so I think he’ll do the same to our opponents.
If there was an award for ‘outstanding contribution’ behind the scenes in your league, who would get it and why?
DB: I would have to say our coaches. We have an amazing coaching staff that kick our ass every week and push us to be the best that we can be. We couldn’t be more blessed for the dedication and teaching they provide on and off track. They do a lot to wrangle us goofballs together and they do a pretty good job of it lol.
GP: Two of our coaches Psychotic Rage and Fat Louie. Psych has been coaching us for more years than I can remember and has been an incredibly dedicated member of our league, running practices, coming up with drills and training plans, and keeping us up on the latest strategy. Louie was a last-second fill in as bench coach at The Big O 2017 and did an incredible job and has been with us ever since. Choosing lineups and who gets track time when trying to play competitively in sanctioned games is never an easy job and we’ve always had a hard time finding folks up to the task, but Louie does it with poise and to great result. Having consistent coaching staff has been a huge part of our leagues growth and success, and we cannot thank them enough, including our other coach HARMonic who started with us this season.