The Santa Cruz Derby Girls finished out their 2018 season with two exciting and closely matched exhibition games Saturday night at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.
The league’s junior skaters, the Santa Cruz Derby Groms, started off the evening with a mixed-level, “Good versus Evil”-themed game. Team Evil secured the win by a close margin,181-159. Next, the league’s adult skaters took the track in an “alter ego”-themed game. In that match, the Bruce Wayne Bruisers cinched the win in a dramatic final jam against the Clark Kent Crew for a final score of 148-145.
“This game was really exciting,” said Tina Tyre, aka “Beans,” who captained for the Bruisers. “Our team was getting a little crazy at the beginning and we were separated a lot. But at the half, we talked about staying together and communicating more — and that’s what really brought us the win.”
The Crew started out strong and held the lead for the first half of the game, holding the Bruisers scoreless for the first three jams. The Bruisers began closing the gap in the second half, capitalizing on Crew penalties.
A strong jam by jammer Mary Anderson, aka “Xena Morph,” brought the Bruisers into the lead with just a minute left on the clock. Despite a thrilling 17-8 final jam in favor of the Crew, the Bruisers narrowly held onto the lead by three points, securing the win.
In the “Good versus Evil” juniors game, the teams were neck and neck for the first half of the game. Team Evil pulled ahead during the second half to ultimately take the win. This game included some of the Groms’ youngest skaters as well as skaters who are aging out of the juniors program.
In addition to exciting competition, the evening included many tearful goodbyes to both junior skaters aging out of the Derby Groms and to adult skaters who are retiring or moving on.
Amy Bigard, aka “Boss A-Train,” who is hanging up her skates, was awarded MVP Blocker for the Crew.
“It was a really emotional start to my game tonight,” Bigard said. “Getting MVP was so awesome.”
The league also bid farewell to All-Star squad coach Erica Boehnlein, aka “Mean Bean Casserole,” who is moving out of state. Boehnlein this season led the adult All-Star team, the Boardwalk Bombshells, to the team’s highest-ever Women’s Flat Track Derby Association ranking, No. 15 in the world.
The next chance to see the Santa Cruz Derby Girls play at the Civic Auditorium will be in March 2019. The Derby Girls season schedule can be found at santacruzderbygirls.org.
**Article by Megan Alpine as printed in the Santa Cruz Sentinel**
**Photo Credit: Adam Freidin ©2018**