On May 14th, in the year of our Lord 2016, members of your Atlanta Men's Roller Derby ResurGents took a little road trip to the beautiful city of Athens. Together, and along with the sisters who coach us, we took over Highway 316 as we jammed Yacht Rock on our radios and made gestures towards one another from neighboring lanes of traffic. The distance was short, but the journey stretched into the experience of a lifetime.
The 'Gents got off to a respectable start, drawing first blood on the ladies of CCRG to go up 4-0. A variety of factors, including the incredible CCRG Jammers Louis Strongarm and Rumbalina, and high skill level of the CCRG Blockers, lead to the ladies from Athens going up by a total of 62-31 just minutes into the first half. Undeterred, the 'Gents regrouped and found an inner strength to solidify their walls and hold the CCRG Jammers at bay for the remainder of the bout. Your final score from Athens, in a bout that was played more closely than the score would indicate:
Atlanta Men's Roller Derby ResurGents 233, Classic City Rollergirls 111.
Road Trash, Co-Captain:
"In our second bout at the Classic Center, I could not have been more proud of the Gents’ metamorphosis between visits. The first bout we played there (2015) was against Collision Men’s Derby, and may have given the impression to the CCRG kill squad that we would not be difficult to topple. [The 2015 bout against Collision] was the very first game for many of our players, and we had not yet begun to gel as a unit. In spite of the not too distant memory of a crushing defeat at the hands of Collision, the Gents came prepared to win a war in our return to the Classic City.
Most of us have seen CCRG play on more than one occasion, so we knew that they would be fiercely competitive and intimidatingly aggressive on the track (and after party, which is less intimidating and more awe-inspiring. But, I digress...). We planned to counter their approach by working together as a single defensive unit. The words "calm" and "slow" echoed through our walls, giving us a renewed strength on each jam; even after getting crushed by the Athenians in the first few minutes of play. Once we began to absorb this mantra of patience and strength, our walls began to slow and sap the CCRG jammers' energy.
It was all so surreal, as we were executing strategies that we’ve developed as team for the last several months. As we would come off of the track, both of our LadyGent coaches would qualify and quantify our play and sort out who was going out for the next jam with focus and composure. Though CCRG hit us hard, time after time, we were somehow able to hold strong. In the words of our fellow teammate and third base coach, Goggles, we met them unyieldingly in their direct path. My hat is truly off to the entirety of CCRG, from the Refs and NSOs to the ladies who gave us bodies full of bruises (as I cannot exclude anybody that contributed to this experience) for taking part in the first Women v. Men Flat Track Roller Derby Bout for our respective teams."
"We've had a couple of rough games lately. We went back to practice; focused a lot on our strategy, and I saw us execute that strategy which was really exciting for me. We've worked on a number of different strategies, from the Delta/Rambo wall with two teams of two skaters (one facing towards the jammer, the other with their back towards the jammer) to the Rotating Wall (one skater facing the jammer, in a team of three, with the fourth skater serving as "Safety"). Practicing a variety of strategies allowed our skaters to very quickly transition between different blocking styles and adapt to each situation as it developed and the personnel available.
Men's derby is very young, so we don't have a whole lot of heroes to look up to. The women's leagues around us are definitely our heroes. They're the ones we look up to, the ones we try to emulate, and for years we've been trying to fight and get good enough to stay on the track with them. I think we did that in this bout, and hopefully impressed our heroes with how far we've come. The Classic City Rollergirls went out of their way, and possibly comfort zone, to host us and the result was a fun and entertaining bout. And, I'm really proud of the result."
The Ruffian*, Coach:
"Static Shock (recent transfer to the 'Gents from the Carolina Wrecking Balls) earned his MVP for Jamming. Road Trash earned his MVP for Blocking. Surfer Rosa (AMRD Bench Coach) put together some of the strongest lineups I've seen AMRD skate in. Sakemon was like liquid seduction on skates. The alluring way in which he tripped over his own skates and tantalizingly bumped into people on accident was a sight to behold. Truly he is a skater to watch."
You can see some clips from our bout, as well as interviews about the experience, here:
*The Ruffian could not be reached for comment. A proxy was identified to give statements on her behalf.