Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Your New Life is Waiting. Join NEO Roller Derby!

A winning team that gives back is holding tryouts

Tallmadge, Ohio (10-21-2009) - NEO Rock ‘n’ Roller Girls of Akron will be hosting an open recruitment for its 2010 season this Wednesday at the Summit County Fairgrounds Arena Complex from 7-10pm. This is open recruitment is for anyone interested in becoming a part of Akron’s most accomplished league.

This first round of recruitment is targeted at anyone who may not have any previous experience on skates or knowledge of the game, but certainly more skilled skaters are welcome. In January, the league will host tryouts which will ultimately be targeted toward those that have the skills to participate in a rigorous training schedule as well as compete with WFTDA leagues.

If you have no knowledge of current flat track roller derby, let me give you the low-down. Skaters skate in quad speed skates and are required to wear regulation protective gear. This isn’t the old days of fake fighting. There are numerous rules to abide by and safety is the number one concern.

NEO is a WFTDA Apprentice league, which means we adhere to the WFTDA guidelines and rule-set (WFTDA stands for Women’s Flat Track Derby Association). This is a very aggressive sport that requires a lot of athleticism. We practice three times a week and many of us augment that with strength training outside of practice.

We are a league ran 100% by women.
We follow the motto of “for the skaters, by the skaters,” so that means not only do we get to skate, but it’s up to us to plan everything else as well. We get to decide what events we do and how we do them. So not only are you joining a sports team, but you’re joining an organization that strives to give back to the community by donating proceeds as well as volunteering for worthy causes. That doesn’t mean, however, that if you’re not a skater you can’t get involved. Because this is a “do it yourself” sport, we always need volunteers including referees, track officials, merchandise people etc.

If you’ve been interested, curious or have been dreaming of this your whole life, come out and show the world what you’re made of. We believe in you, now it’s your turn.

For more information visit us at NEORollerDerby.com or send us your contact information to newrecruits@nrrgirls.com

Akron’s NEO Rock ‘n’ Roller Girls Pour Assault into the Wound

NEO Roller Derby finishes its 2009 season by dominating Syracuse team

Tallmadge, Ohio (10-17-2009) – The bout was aptly named “Learning to Brawl.” Although the name was intended to hint at the classic Pretenders album, It can safely be said that Akron’s NEO Rock ‘n’ Roller Girls taught the Assault City Roller Derby a thing or two about the game of roller derby. ACRD, from Syracuse, NY lost the game 166-72, but not without a fight. The event’s proceeds will be donated to the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio.

I knew nothing about ACRD prior to the game other than they had to borrow some skaters from nearby Ithaca to fill out their roster due to injury and the sort. I even predicted to an avid fan that this was going to be a tight game after watching them warm up. But for all my confidence in them, they just didn’t match up to NEO’s well trained machine. Beginning their 4 game away season in January and finishing with 5 home games, NEO walks away with 5 wins, 4 losses for the year; 4 of those wins at home.

The first jam of the night saw NEO’s Scarlet GoDancin up against Golden Diapers, on loan from Ithaca. Diapers got lead and scored 4-3 over Scarlet. That was the last time ACRD would have the lead in the game. With her 24 total points for the night, Golden Diapers was ACRD’s top scorer. She also spent 4 minutes in the penalty box for majors. ACRD’s other high scorer with 15 was Amber Chaos, also on loan, who managed to get 3 majors and the subsequent time in the penalty box. ACRD’s best player is quite possibly Blaze who took to the jammer line in about a third of the game. She is aggressive, fast and a smart player. She only scored 14 points, but also only spent one minute in the penalty box. NEO awarded her an MVP for the game and she will definitely be one to watch in future games.

But the glory and glamour that is being the jammer in this game goes to NEO rookie sensation Amy Warhol N. She’s been steadily growing in ability and has put forth an almost animalistic effort in every game. She is the kind of skater that doesn’t think about what just happened but keeps looking ahead to what’s about to happen. She can get knocked around left and right, but pops right back up and into action. I’ll reiterate my prediction that she’ll get the rookie of the year award. In this game she earned 47 points in her 6 turns at jammer. That’s 7.83 points per jam, getting lead jammer 67% of the time. Next season, she’ll certainly be a leader on this team.

Twin Pistol, a NEO vet and all around badass, scored 41 points in her 11 turns at jammer getting lead 64% of the time. I’ve seen Pistol get banged around the track like the patsy in a demolition derby, but she always winds up out front. She’s resilient and full of fire. Like most of the girls on this team, she’ll skate through recent injuries without the slightest sign of acquiescence to pain. Scarlet GoDancin, Teeny Houdini and Chrissie B. Hynde rounded out the high scoring jammer rotation of the night with 29, 24 and 18 respectively.

It’s clear that this team is jammer-centric with a healthy rotation of quality jammers. But attention must also be paid to the healthy stock of blockers and it should also be noted that many of the best blockers can, and often do, take roles as jammer. Such players as captain Taking Names and Chrissie B. Hynde (who was awarded the MVP from ACRD) seem to take as much joy in scoring points as they do knocking down the opposing jammer. To watch them is like watching a competition between wrecking balls to see who can topple the most opponents.

Ultimately, it is the team effort of these women that win games. They understand that it’s the strength of the whole and not the flair of a few stars. They should all take pride in their winning second season, but knowing these women; they’ll be focused on what’s still to come. The league is a proud new member of the WFTDA Apprentice Program which means that next year they’ll be battling other WFTDA leagues and that comes with a whole new set of challenges. The teams will be stronger, perhaps more prepared, but this team will no doubt rise to the challenge with eager determination to prove what Akron Roller Derby is capable of.

Congratulations to NEO and thank you all for supporting one of the best sports around. See you again next year for Akron’s ONLY all women owned and operated, for the skaters by the skaters roller derby!

For more information log onto NEORollerDerby.com