ABERDEEN — In search of their first win, the Central Jersey Roller Vixens return home to the Tab Ramos Sports Center tonight to face off against the Beat City Bedrockers.
The Vixens (0-5) faced the the Hartford, Conn.-based Bedrockers twice last year as the Red Bank Roller Vixens, and lost both encounters.
The Vixens are heading into tonight’s bout with plenty of confidence. They’ve had a six week break to lick their wounds from their last defeat.
“I definitely think it’s gonna be a good game,” said jammer Lady Speedstick. “The team has been working really hard and the coaches have kept us focused on our weaker areas in practice. We’ve shown a lot of improvement since the last game and hopefully our hard work will show tonight.”
The defeats this year have been brutal.
Doors: 7 p.m.
First whistle: 8 p.m.
The loss at the hands of the Jersey Shore Roller Girls’ Beat Down, their B-Team, was 110-308.
The Vixens have traveled to Morristown, Lancaster, Pa. and Rockville, Md. to be trounced by the likes of the Jerzey Derby Brigade, Dutchland Rollers, and the Free State Roller Derby’s Rock Villains.
The home opener this April against the premier Garden State Roller Derby, North Arlington, was a massacre.
The Central Jersey Roller Vixens and their predecessor the Red Bank Roller Vixens have lost every game but one.
On the final game of their three-game road trip early this summer against the Maryland-based Rock Villains, the inequality in the play was evident by the half. The Vixens were losing to the Villains 276-22.
Yet, they went out on the track again.
At the start of the second half, the Vixens were worn-out and tired. A key player, Donnamite, had a severe hand injury. But the women played for another 30-minute half. They took their hits. They gave a few themselves, and they didn’t stop skating.
They lost 476 to 76.
“We’ve shown a lot of improvement since the last game and hopefully our hard work will show tonight.” —Lady Speedstick
The Vixens’ main problem is their depth. There is a small core of dedicated veterans. But many on the team are freshies in their first season.
They hemorrhaged players last year. Buffy Dee Slayer and Anita Guinness defected to the Jersey Shore Roller Derby. Killer Tofu, a key developing blocker, moved back home to Maine. Jessticles and coach Lucy Block, all integral to the team and veteran players, decided to focus on other aspects of their lives, which only makes sense: no one gets paid to play roller derby.
A core of players remains: Pushy Galore, Lady Speedstick and Infra Red. They have picked up a few key players too such as C the Fury and Pink Pollock, who was named the most valuable jammer for the first three consecutive games this season.
Often, the women skate in one jam, a two-minute period within a half, as a blocker or pivot (striped helmet), which requires intense muscle strength and stamina. Then, they put on the starred helmet of a jammer, which requires requires speed, agility, and endurance.
Imagine football players switching between the offensive line and the backfield every other play. That’s what these tough women are doing.
A full roster is 15 skaters, but only 10 Vixens will be lacing up tonight. The Bedrockers will only be sending 11 skaters to the bout.
“So, we’ll be pretty evenly matched,” said jammer Infra Red.
Editor’s Note: Vixen’s jammer Infra Red is the author’s girlfriend. Or, she was until she read this account of her team’s season.