ECDX Preview: (1) Gotham vs (3) Denver
Denver's Amanda Sharpless jams during Denver's recent victory over Rocky Mountain. Photo: Dave Wood.
FEASTERVILLE, PA -- It's been 17 games and 19 months since any derby team has been able to defeat Gotham (1 DNN, 1E WFTDA) on the flat track. This weekend, at the sixth annual East Coast Derby Extravaganza in Feasterville, PA, Gotham looks likely to get one of their toughest weekends in a while as they try to keep their win streak going against DNN's #2 and #3 teams in Rose City and Denver.
Live on WFTDA.tv at 7pm Eastern on Saturday, June 23.
It's been some time since Denver last paid a visit to the East Coast's biggest derby event of the year. In 2008 a Denver squad featuring six of the current roster -- Angela Death, Disco a Go-Go, Fonda Payne, Slick Vick, Crash Dance and Boo Boo Radley -- had their first taste of Eastern opposition and came off worse losing by 84 points to Carolina and 184 to ECE stalwarts Gotham.
Four years on, and Adams, Akers, Begeman, Cruz, Quigley and Sage will be hoping for another shot at upsetting the reigning WFTDA champions. Last year Denver were one of only two teams to lose to Gotham by fewer than 100 points during the regular season, but at half time a mere 16 points separated the team. Mile High Club captain Heather Juska is under no illusions about what caused their downfall that day, and what will be key to getting a win this weekend: "The key to Denver unlocking Gotham is to keep our team on the track!"
The Mile High Club has a few tricks up its sleeve too. As well as a couple of new faces on the roster, the team has also "tweaked" their game over the past six months, according to Juska, so "fans can expect to see us come out swinging." Their goal is unequivocally a return to Championships, having missed out thanks to first-round upset losses at Rollin' On The River and Bridgetown Brawl. "We want it bad and are ready to bring it any shape or form in 2012," says Juska.
Denver haven't given much of a clue to their prospects this season on the track so far. They're 3-1 for the season so far, with a big 138-point rout over their regional tormentors Bay Area, a narrow 16-point victory over depleted hometown rivals Rocky Mountain, a comfortable 110-point victory over Kansas City, and a somewhat surprising 36-point loss to Rose City in which they went into a significant hole after failing to field a jammer in time for an early-game jam.
Gotham's season so far offers even fewer clues to their performance. The New Yorkers have posted three massive victories this year including a record-breaking 565-point demolition of Long Island, a 486-point win over Connecticut and, most impressively, a massive victory over perennial Championships contender Philly by 272-61. They've had a new star burst onto the scene in the form of rookie Slambda Phage, who has averaged over 100 points a game so far, and have gained another world-class jammer--Team USA and former Boston all-star Claire D Way--which should go some way to ameliorating the loss of Championships MVP Wild Cherri.
Gotham haven't lost at ECDX since Carolina notched an 11-point win in Gotham's very first game there back in 2007. Will Denver succeed where Windy City, Texas, Boston, Philly and Rose City have failed over the years? We'll find out on Saturday.
Note: Gotham Girls had not responded to a request for comment at press time -- Gotham's listed roster is their full 20-skater charter, while Denver's represents 15 traveling.
00 Ana Bollocks // 2 Donna Matrix // 4 Violet Knockout // 8 Slambda Phage // 16 Brazilian Nut // 31 Hela Skelter // 55 Suzy Hotrod // 68C Sexy Slaydie // 201 Sweet Sherry Pie // 241 Fisti Cuffs // 340 Bonnie Thunders // 404 Hyper Lynx // 500 Paperschnitt // 503 Mick Swagger // 753 OMG WTF // 929 Davey Blockit // 999 Puss N Glutes // 1818 Anne Frankenstein // 1984 Claire D. Way // 8212 Em Dash
4 Jessica Rivas // 5 Deirdre Sage // 9v Vicky Cruz // 19 Julie Adams // 20 Monica Carson // 24 Sandrine Rangeon // 28 Krisana Barrett // 90 Gabby Begeman // 99 Tracy Akers // 303 Heather Juska // 307 Shaina Serelson // 357 November James // 719 Amanda Sharpless // 831 S. H. Long // 1982 Ariel Quigley