On February 1st, North Star Roller Derby skaters and fans once again descended upon the Lee & Rose Warner Coliseum on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for the 14th season’s Championship bout.
The night started with Minnesota Junior Roller Derby teaching the audience how roller derby is played. Minnesota Junior Roller Derby is a league open to skaters ages 3-17 that provides youth with the opportunity to learn the exciting sport of roller derby. These junior skaters presented Derby 101 for anyone in the audience (or on the track…) who needed a refresher on how roller derby works. While tiny and tenacious now, these juniors will soon be bigger, stronger, and older, and are the future of roller derby.
Kilmores vs. Violent Femmes
The first two teams of the night were competing for 3rd and 4th place; after the season’s first 3 bouts, the Kilmores came into the night with 0 wins and 3 losses compared to the Violent Femmes’ 1 win and 2 losses. The first half started off with two two-minute jams caused by the lead jammer during both jams incurring a penalty; at the end of the second jam, the Kilmores had raked in 25 points to the Femmes’ 27. Throughout the first half, the Kilmores consistently positioned themselves at the front of the pack, giving them more control of positioning at the start of each jam. Even so, the Kilmores trailed the Violent Femmes throughout the half and the score ended at 73 to 82 with the Violent Femmes in the lead.
Early in the second half, Nymphadora Bonks took to the track as jammer for the Kilmores against the Violent Femmes’ Sailor Mouth. The Femmes started with two blockers in the penalty box, which helped Bonks get through the pack first to win lead jammer status; the jam ended in the first lead change which brought the score to 88 to 86 with the Kilmores ahead.
The Kilmores maintained their momentum and increased their lead throughout the second half; the team’s blockers succeeded in frequently holding the Femmes jammers and limiting their scoring passes. For the last jam, the Kilmores fielded Nymphadora Bonks as jammer against Sailor Mouth from the Femmes, who started the jam in the penalty box. Down their jammer, the Femmes blockers positioned themselves at the pivot line in order to distance themselves from Bonks; the Kilmores blockers lined up on the inside line intending to provide offense in the apex. Ultimately, the Femmes were unable to overcome the Kilmores’ lead, and the bout ended with a score of 149 to 111, with the Kilmores taking home both 3rd place and their first win of the season! The Violent Femmes ended the season in 4th place.
During half-time, spectators swarmed to the floor for some hula-hooping fun and to place bids on the 100+ items and experiences available in NSRD’s annual Silent Auction. All proceeds from the Silent Auction go towards supporting the travel teams and general league operating costs.
Banger Sisters vs. Delta Delta Di
Competing for the top two spots were the Banger Sisters and Delta Delta Di. While the Bangers have more recent championship wins under their belts, the Deltas were eager to win the team’s first championship title in 10 years.
Throughout the first half, the Deltas held a lead over the Bangers; the lead was kept relatively small in part due to several zero-point jams. With 10 minutes left in the first half, the score was 20 to 12 with the Deltas ahead. In the next jam, the Deltas’ lead increased when Annaconda scored 21 points in a single jam. At the end of the first half, the Deltas were ahead with 57 points to the Bangers’ 33 points.
During the second half, the Bangers slowly encroached on the Deltas’ lead. After a few jams during which the Deltas jammers were sent to the penalty box, the score rose to 85 to 70 with the Deltas still ahead. The final jam of the night was a nailbiter. The Banger Sisters fielded Katarina Hit as jammer while Delta Delta Di sent out Short Stack; Katarina quickly became lead jammer, but Short Stack followed only a quarter of the track behind. After Katarina scored 8 points, the score appeared to be 93 to 94 with the Bangers ahead, and the jam was called off.
Although not lead jammer, Short Stack had hit the pack hard and earned an additional two points before passing the star to put pressure on the Bangers. Both teams fought hard but in the end Delta Delta Di secured the 1st place spot.
While the champions of the home team season have been crowned, roller derby isn’t over yet!
On February 22 at 6pm at the Canterbury Expo Center in Shakopee, North Star Roller Derby’s travel teams, the Supernovas and Northern Lights, will split into mixed teams and square off against each other to prepare for their upcoming season. The second bout of the night will feature hard-hitting action between NSRD’s recreational team, Cosmos, and our friends to the south, Des Moines Roller Derby! Tickets can be bought online here.