By AmericanHurl Doll
Friday, July 17th marked our 4th biannual Freshie Expo Bout and as is becoming the norm, it was a total SELLOUT!!! Were you among the 250 family members, friends, and league-mates in attendance? If not, you missed out on the wild shenanigans between some or our newest, up-and-coming SFV skaters. This matchup was between those hard-hitting barbaric babes the NeanderDolls, led by coaches Atomic and DovahKill, and the cosmically captivating Astronaughties, led by coaches Iron Panda and Mimi Murderface. This was probably our most evenly matched expo bout to date with equal skill levels on both sides and as usual with derby, there was no shortage of thrills, chills, and spills. In the end though, one team rose victorious and on this occasion, the Astronaughties skated by (sorry pun police) with a final score of 256-202 over the NeanderDolls. We love to get the team captains’ reflections on the experience and here is what Captain Hardlee Ann Angel of the NeanderDolls had to say:
Wow, what an amazing bout! Although this was the second Freshie bout I skated in, it was my first as captain.
We were coached by Atomic and DovahKill…best evaaar!!!!! The feeling of excitement from the new skaters was absolutely contagious. We all tried to attend as many of the scrimmages leading up to the day and if we were on the same team or jam we tried practicing different skills that we had learned at our team practices. Our NeanderDolls Facebook posts were always funny and quirky. We had tons of fun from choosing our attire and selecting our skate-out song to the feeling the excitement of the upcoming bout. On the day of the bout all feelings broke loose: excitement, nervousness, determination…don’t forget this, don’t do that. This was the day that we would show everyone how hard we had been practicing. Their families would be watching them for the first time. That in and of itself was nerve-wracking. Every feeling you can think of, the Dolls were feeling it. The looks on their faces were priceless. Once on the track for warm-up, you could see the change -they began to settle down and their demeanor turned into one of determination. I am so proud of the way each and every one of them skated together, assisted their teammates, and exercised their skills appropriately. My best experience with the NeanderDolls and the AstroNaughties was being able to be a part of a new skater’s first bout. That is the most priceless moment I will remember.
Astronaughties team captain, Lipstick Vendetta, could be considered a veteran of these expo bouts as this is the third one that she has participated in. During the last Freshie bout, she was injured on the track and had to have MPFL reconstruction on her knee, with 3 screws and a cadaver graft included. She jokes that she is part zombie AND cyborg. Vendetta thinks of this current bout as her “redemption bout” as it’s her first official game since becoming injured in the last one.
Here is Vendetta’s take as Captain: The Freshie Expo Bout is one of the favorite bouts our league holds. I was honored to be elected Captain for the Astronaughties and I felt elated to get to know the hard working, strong women this team was comprised of on a personal level. Our team may have varied in skills, but we all had the same passion. Being coached by Iron Panda and Mimi Murderface, we felt unstoppable. Our coaches were very involved from day 1 and were extremely patient as we learned to grow as individuals as well as a team. We, like any new team, had our ups and downs, injuries, frustrations, and our share of fears; but that didn’t stop us. If one of us was having a hard time, we came together and sort of created a blanket of support and encouragement. During the game, we were able to remain positive, even when we struggled in the beginning. Someone was always saying “good job,” giving high fives, or doing that helmet to helmet touch that means “I’m with ya.” I skated around and spoke with different families at halftime and everyone was so happy. The skaters held their heads high with great pride and their supporters were wide-eyed with the excitement of being fans for this insane new (to them) sport! When the last four whistles blew and we got the official win, you could feel the relief in the air. It was a privilege to play the Neanderdolls and it was not an easy win by any means. All of the hard work paid off. Every single girl on that track improved in some way during this journey. Whether it was an improvement on skates or a mental block that was conquered, some goal was met. This was the first of many bouts for a lot of the girls and from the looks of it and the way everyone played, these girls will go far.