Usually, we aren’t super pumped when our skaters play with other teams - we never want them to leave us!
But that wasn’t the case in January, during Battle of the All-Stars!
Six of our Gem City Purple Reign skaters teamed up with skaters all around the state to help represent Ohio at the yearly states tournament held just outside of Philadelphia.
Sixteen regions were represented at Battle of the All-Stars (#BOTAS2018), including New York, Pennsylvania, Saskatchewan (Canada, eh?), Louisiana, Kansas, Maine, North Carolina, Michigan, Virginia, Maryland, Colorado, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Massachusetts! Oh, and, of course O-H-I-O!
We’ve had representation at BOTAS in the past, but nothing like this. Supersonic, who has been participating in BOTAS for some time, emerged as an Ohio All-Stars Roller Derby (OHARD) co-captain.
And GCRD jammers were on total display this year. We all know that our are jammers are the biggest kept secret in the state, but this year, they got some real national attention. All three of the Gem City core jammers, Supersonic, Reckless Ratchet, and Bullistic, earned MVP awards for their amazing performances at the tournament. We could NOT be prouder.
Our defenders and versatile players were also on display! Heartless Glitch, Tara Hole-Inu, and Lexi Dexi (full disclosure, that’s me) were also there! And we had a blast.
But this isn’t to forget the other members of the OHARD rosters. The GCRD skaters were very excited to work with skaters from leagues all over the state, including Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, and Cincinnati. It was fantastic to feel the state-wide derby love. Oh, and let’s not forget our wonderful announcer Kent the Politician. He did a great job all weekend represent Ohio roller derby!
It’s hard to really underestimate the amount of growth that happens at an event like this. And maybe you have to be a little bit of a derby nerd to understand. Ohio played Colorado, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. These teams have a steady roster of globally renowned skaters, including Denver’s Brawn Swanson, Pennsylvania’s V-Diva, and Michigan’s (Olympic athlete!) Jilleanne Rookard. And I’m just scratching the surface.
This is a level of play that GCRD has seldom seen in the past, and it was a privilege and an honor. GCRD has risen like a rocket the last two years, and we have dreams of making divisional champs this year, surely. But being able to play against the best in the world was an incredible experience.
It’s undeniable that GCRD gained so much from this experience. Expect us to be pulling no punches this year, as we keep developing and applying what we’ve learned every day.
Thanks OHARD, BOTAS, and the GCRD skaters and fans for your massive support this weekend.
If you want to see the game archives, head over to nerderby.com!