Star of Texas Preview: Windy City Blows In
Northern flat track conquerors have tourney ambitions
By Richard Whittaker, 8:00AM, Fri. Jul. 20, 2012
Coming into this weekend's Star of Texas Bowl, the Windy City Rollers have an unusual honor. They were part of the first ever Women's Flat Track Derby Association-sanctioned bout to finish in a draw.
It's been the hot topic amongst skaters this season, the coulda, shoulda, woulda officiating that left Windy stalemated with the Minnesota Roller Girls. This weekend, the WFTDA's #1 team in the North-Central region have a chance to put any ambiguity behind them with a tournament fight with three of the best travel teams in the nation: The All-Star teams from Gotham and B.ay A.rea D.erby, and Austin's own hosting Texecutioners.
Four year WCR All-Stars veteran Ruth Enasia too a quick break from packing to talk training, back-to-back bouts, and that controversial tied decision.
Austin Chronicle: Even by tourney standards, this is a pretty brutal schedule. What's the plan for getting through it all?
Ruth Enasia: We train for this with a challenging practice regimen and knowing how to maintain ourselves physically and mentally to withstand long periods of competition. Staying mentally focused is key. With a short break between our two games on Saturday, we need to be able to recover quickly while keeping our game faces on.
AC: What's your thoughts on each of the three squads you'll be facing?
RE: We’re excited to once again be facing some of the top teams in the world and make a statement for the North Central Region and the Windy City Rollers in Chicago. We’re psyched to have another go at Gotham, whom we’ve met five times on the track before; We and Texas match really well, so that’s going to be a barn-burner; And having fallen to Bay Area last year, we are psyched for redemption against them.
AC: You've kept a lot of the same players from the 2011 roster, but who are your rookies to watch?
RE: We’ve pulled up some incredible multi-threat talent from Phoebe Fi Fo Fum and Unicoroner, both of whom are strong, ridiculously agile and can play any position on the track. Ska Face is a jammer who has played for the WCR All-Stars in the past, and she’s back and better than ever.
AC: One of the big issues for teams in the South-Central region is the distance between leagues, and the perception is that the greater density in North-Central and the East really helps build the quality of travel teams. What're your thoughts on that?
RE: Population density may have something to do with it, but South Central has certainly fielded very strong travel teams, namely Kansas City Roller Warriors and TXRG.
AC TXRG just launched their first ever B-team, the Firing Squad, but Windy has had Second Wind since 2009. What kind of a difference does it make, having a second travel squad?
RE: For Windy City, the addition of an official B-team has really amped up our competitiveness across the board. We scrimmage against and among each other often, which helps to transfer skill and knowledge to all levels in our league. The Second Wind is loaded with very talented skaters who would give any A-level travel team a run for their money.
AC: I have to ask about the Windy/Minnesota game, and the tied score. From your point of view, what happened, and what can be done in future to make sure the sport can avoid this kind of NSO-related issue?
RE: From Windy City’s point of view, our sport has a lot of checks and balances, but sometimes mistakes happen and all anyone can do is learn from them. The tie was a fluke. Holding the first sanctioned tie in WFTDA roller derby is surprising, but really underscores just how evenly matched the two teams were.
Windy City Rollers Star of Texas Bowl schedule:
Saturday: 3pm vs. Texas; 6.30pm vs Gotham
Sunday: 2.30pm vs B.A.D.
Star of Texas Bowl, July 21-22, 3pm Saturday, noon Sunday. Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez. www.texasrollegirls.org. One day tickets $15, two-day passes $25 via Star of Texas Bowl website.