The Santa Cruz Derby Girls and their junior derby counterpart, the Santa Cruz Derby Groms took on Sacramento Roller Derby’s adult and junior teams Saturday at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.
The evening began with Santa Cruz’s junior derby team, the Saltwater Sassies, narrowly beating the Sacramento Beastie Bears, 206-201. Santa Cruz’s all-star team, the Boardwalk Bombshells, then rolled over Sacramento Roller Derby’s Capital Maulstars with a commanding 318-116 win. In that match, Sacramento was unable to rein in its penalties. The Bombshells managed to take advantage of every opportunity, holding Sacramento scoreless for multiple jams. While its defensive walls flowed together, Santa Cruz’s offense stayed organized and capitalized on power jams to beef up the score.
A special proclamation by Santa Cruz Mayor Martine Watkins separated the two bouts. Watkins recognized the Santa Cruz Derby Groms for being ranked the No. 2 junior roller derby team in the nation and the Bombshells for their No. 14 international ranking within the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. The Mayor was honored by the league with the derby name Mayor SWAT-kins.
The Bombshells will be making their fifth appearance in six years at the WFTDA division playoffs in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on Sept. 6-8. It is one of two WFTDA international divisional playoffs, the other being held in Seattle on Sept. 13-15. The top three teams from each will advance to the championships on Nov. 15-17 in Montreal, where they will be joined by the four highest-ranked teams on the league.
With their No. 14 spot in the international rankings, the Bombshells are seeded No. 5 in a promising bracket. The Bombshells will need to beat No. 12 seeded Paris Roller Derby and No. 4-seeded 2×4 from Buenos Aires in the first day of the tournament for a chance to place in the top three.
“Playing against Sacramento was a great way for us to prepare for playoffs,” Bombshells coach Cheri Bell (aka Queen Litigious) said. “The team is really playing well and Sacramento is a very physical and fierce team. We had the opportunity to work on some new plays and fine-tune our strategies.”
Bell added, “And it’s always a thrill to play for our hometown fans at the Civic. It was a perfect way to lead into the last couple of weeks before we head to North Carolina — we’re in a great playoff bracket and look forward to bringing home some hardware this year.”
The Santa Cruz Derby Girls play one more home bout for the 2019 season on October 26 at the Civic. Visit santacruztickets.com for details.
**Article by Eileen Hill as printed in the Santa Cruz Sentinel**
**Photo Credit: Mark Nockleby ©2019**