Heartbreakers Dominate, Honeys Balance the Scales

TXRG starts '08 season with doubleheader, high score, and some hard blows

The Texas Rollergirls said there would be March Madness on the flat track, and they were right. The first bouts of the sixth season, held March 2 at Playland Skate Center, saw changes: retirees out in the crowd or in management, enough rookies to create a new team (with substitutes), and a new crash barrier (so less chance of spilled beer in turn two). But there were also some high scores, some high emotions, and some high elbows.

The opening period of the season was almost like having two new teams out there. The Hustlers and the Honky Tonk Heartbreakers were both fielding seven new players (including familiar face Smash Hit, freshly transferred to the Heartbreakers this season). The two teams came out of the first jam tied, but a grand slam from former Minnesota Rollergirl Desi Cration put the Heartbreakers in a dominating position. Eking out only two points in the next 10 jams, the new-look Hustlers couldn't keep the Heartbreakers from consistently piling on points. Coming out of the first period 48-14, the Heartbreakers maintained their lead for a 100-32 victory.

They didn't have it all their own way: there were flashes of excellence from the Hustlers, but a lack of communication and a gappy pack seemed to plague them. A clearly frustrated Cheap Trixie earned her new co-captaincy by determinedly trying to motivate the team, leading from the bench and through example with some focused and aggressive blocking and pivoting. TXRG 'rookie' (actually Kansas City Roller Warrior veteran) Fearlys put some well-earned points on the board and took the tactical advantage of being lead jammer to occasionally shut down their opponents. If the Hustlers can turn those sparks and flashes into a flame, they can be a great team this season.

But the rematch of the 2007 Championship was a much closer affair, both on the track and on the board. The champion Hell Marys come into the season with almost exactly the same roster as last year, while a streamlined Hotrod Honeys (complete with four rookies) still have last year's MVP, Rice Rocket. An early minor penalty kept her from scoring on the opening jam, and for a while it seemed like the Mary's jammer trio of Sparkle Plenty, Bloody Mary, and Lady X were going to make this a repeat of their last matchup. But the Honeys aren't a one-woman team: and with Cat Tastrophe and Vicious Van Go Go scoring points, Lucille Brawl skating smart, and Morphine's effortless but effective blocking, they proved their depth. And, of course, Rice Rocket saw gaps in the pack that were invisible to everyone else.

But it wasn't all high sportswomanship. A tough tackle outside of the lane ended up with Rice Rocket out in the crowd, Sparkle Plenty out of the game, and a brief fight on the bench that almost spilled into the crowd. After a time out to restore order, the Honeys held a razor-thin lead, which the Marys turned into a tie until the last jam. That was when Rice Rocket went toe-to-toe with Lady X, took lead jammer, and then called the jam, the period, and the bout with a 66-64 vindication.

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Hotrod Honeys, Honky Tonk Heartbreakers, Hustlers, Hell Marys, WFTDA

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