Story by Muckety Muck – Photos By Bob Dunnell
The Arch Rival All-Stars, currently ranked seventh globally by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), used their results last season at the Big O as a springboard en route to an 8-5 record and their inevitable third straight appearance at the governing body’s international championship held last November.
At the three-day, three-track event this weekend, ARCH has meetings with Victorian Roller Derby, the defending WFTDA Champ, as well as two-time title holders Rose City and international bracket entrant Montreal. Arch Rival looks to maintain the positive trajectory that they have rightly achieved over the past three years.
“We approach the season with confidence,” said ARCH co-captain Bricktator. “Knowing that we are putting in the time on-skates and off-skates, we can be confident that we are ready to take on any opponent. We are a smart and strong team and the combination of those two characteristics is formidable.”
ARCH’s travel squad have been getting the practices in after they concluded their three-team local campaign at Ballwin’s Midwest Sport Hockey this past weekend.
“Big O seemed so far away but now it’s already here! We’ve had the chance to scrimmage each other, the Lunachix, and the Gatekeepers to help us prepare for this weekend,” said Bricktator. “Our packs are finding their rhythm and our jammers are pulling off some incredible moves to get through the pack.”
For Arch Rival, there is a plethora of experience that returns to the fold with multiple years of championship play on the resume. Alongside the aforementioned Bricktator, jamming will be paced by veterans Annie Swanson and Bolt Action while returnee PsychoKid D’Freakout will get additional rotations with the star.
Top-shelf-blocking will also be at the forefront as returnees Smarty McFly, Shear-Ra Powers, Cloak N’ Drag-Her, Vicious Van GoGo, Jamheiser Bush, Kayla Woodward, Grant and Fletcher are back in the mix. Newly charted-members LuxFurious and Hero-Shima are interleague additions but have high-level rotations logged.
Other players that are members of the ARCH 20-skater charter this season are jammers The Jukes on You and Reptar while in the blocking capacity are skaters Pegasass, Splatter, Sue Bob Fight and SheKill O’Neill (injured).
“For the last few years, we have had an incredibly deep charter and that is still the case for 2018,” said Bricktator. “We added some home-grown talent as well as some recent transfers to the mix. The new people bring positive energy and great derby experience that blends well with our existing team.”
Even though the heaviest challenge for ARCH this weekend is projected to be Sunday’s game against Victorian, the top-ranked team of the WFTDA, the team is excited to be facing all their opponents this weekend. According to Bricktator, the competition against the defending champ, #2 Rose City and #9 Montreal are the types of match-ups St. Louis craves.
“Big O changed the structure of the tournament this year such that the teams in the top 10 will only play each other, which means that none of our games will be easy,” the co-captain said. “To have success we will need to take each game at a time, play to our strengths, and take advantage of the other teams’ mistakes. Every point we score will matter.”
In the end, ARCH is aiming to use the weekend trip to log some impressive results that will propel them through their respective travel team timetables.
“Make noise!” said Bricktator of ARCH’s missive. “This has been a mantra for the All-Stars for the last few years. Our goal is to play terrific derby that cannot be ignored. Our ‘wow moments’ and our constant grind will have people talking.”
ARCH’S BIG O SCHEDULE (Times listed are Central)
FRIDAY 6 PM – vs. Rose City
SATURDAY 4 PM – vs. Montreal
SUNDAY 2 PM – vs. Victorian
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