Redneck Betties edge Mavericks in home debut
The host Redneck Betties roller derby team moved to 2-0 on the season with a 236-209 win over the Midwest Mavericks Saturday in a game that was in doubt most of the way. The Ra Ra Riots opened the day with a junior bout against the Pilot Lights and won 276-247.
“It’s an awesome start,” said coach Vic Vega. “This was a real challenge in both games. Most of the game was within 10-15 points for both the junior and seniors, so I think the crowd got a real treat tonight. It was good to see the girls come out and show character because last week was too easy, well not too easy, but we were winning and it was never in doubt, whereas this game you never knew. Halftime we were up by 20 points with two minutes left to go and now we are down by 20 points, it can turn that fast. It was nice to see the girls stick to it and play hard.”
It was the home debut for the Redneck Betties to open their seventh season. Newcomer Slamazonian was named the Betties’ Best Blocker, while veteran Pixelated was the team’s Top Jammer.
“We have been working on some different blocking techniques again,” explained Vic Vega. “This game is changing every year, they are changing the rules, they are changing what you can do. We have been bustin’ our butts to get ahead of the curve. The girls did it tonight and that was the difference. Being able to hold back their jammers, because they were fantastic out there, drawing them into penalties, because we were doing the right things and all they could do was take a penalty. So it really helped us to get our power jams going, our special teams was awesome, so I was happy to see that.”
The Betties roster, which was rather inexperienced last season, has been bolstered by the return of some veteran players.
“It’s nice to have them back. Moose Jaw’s league folded up so now we have three girls from there coming down. So now we have a lot bigger league now. We are back to having more players than we can actually play, which is a good problem. It is really nice to see how they are coming together and we are looking really strong,” explained Vic Vega.
The Redneck Betties are looking forward to participating in a major Western Canadian tournament in Calgary that they have been trying to get to for many seasons. “Seeing what we are working on is really exciting now that we can take it there and see how it works against some really high level teams.”
The Redneck Betties will also have a rematch against the Mavericks in five weeks.
Both the Redneck Betties and Ra Ra Riots will host bouts on May 20. The Betties will face a team from Medicine Hat in a coed game. “It is going to be something different, something the fans haven’t really seen here. Everybody thinks ‘oh they shouldn’t have men playing against women.’ The women hit way harder than the men do. Men like to positionally block, get low, hold you up, where the women come in and lay you out. It is going to be interesting to see how that works,” added Vic Vega, who is a member of the Medicine Hat coed team so he could be in uniform against the team he coaches.
“The men’s game has really taken off in the last couple years and is starting to grow. Junior games are all coed, there is no mens or ladies, it is all coed. They are starting to come through and develop and all of a sudden you are starting to see some male players that are doing really well out there. It will be fun to see what happens.”
Vega is also excited about the Ra Ra Riots, who now have 22 players on their roster. “Seeing what they did tonight was way higher level than we have ever seen. I am looking at the Betties four of five years from now and it is pretty exciting. It has been a great year. We had a little bit of a rebuild last year and now we are back in a position where we are really comfortable and having a blast out there.”
The Ra Ra Riots’ Dude B Rollin’ (left) blocked the Gas City Pilot Lights’ Hawabunga off the track during a 276-247 win over the Pilot Lights in their first home game of the season.
Redneck Betties Jammer Pixelated (left) tried to fight her way past three Midwest Mavericks during a 236-209 win Saturday.