SANTA CRUZ, CA >> Last year, the Steamer Janes took home the first Santa Cruz Derby Girls’ Home Team Championship trophy. When the 2016 season opened Saturday, they defended that title with a decisive 183-148 win over Organic Panic at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.
This is the second season of home team play for the Santa Cruz Derby Girls, showcasing the league’s all-stars alongside up-and-coming skaters in mixed teams of equal skill level.
The last time the Janes and Panic matched up was in April, and the Janes demolished Panic 192-101. Saturday, both teams featured veteran skaters, as well as recently drafted skaters to the Janes, whose team has seen considerable roster changes since 2015. Among the new Jane skaters are transfers Absolutely Scabulous (Lexi Baldisseri), Kickassedy (Cassidy Sullivan), Wily (Elissa Chamberlin), and Ivanna Shot (Cheryl Luders). Two Santa Cruz home grown skaters, Jurassic Snark (Lenore Bailey) and Fluxx Capac-Hit-Her (Lauren Macadaeg), graduated to home team play this season.
A penalty in the first five minutes of the game gave Panic’s Patti Smithereens (Sophia Magnone) a solid lead of 31-8. Soon after, Janes jammer Demanda Rumble (Amanda Hershberger) racked up 25 points on a power jam, putting the Janes ahead 51-46. The team inched ahead a little more going into halftime, taking a 98-80 lead, and never looked back.
The Panic came back strong after the half continuing to try to close the gap to no avail.
“With so many new team members, we were so excited about this game and playing for our awesome fans,” said co-captain Bailey, who skates as Jurassic Snark. “And I am really proud of how well we worked together. We can’t wait to ‘Ride the wave, feel the pain’ at our next bout!”
The opener also featured a bout between two Santa Cruz Derby Groms teams.
The Santa Cruz Derby Groms are skaters ages 10-17 who are coached by the Santa Cruz Derby Girls to play full-contact, flat-track roller derby. The Groms bout featured the Sugar Skulls securing a last-jam win over the Bumper Scars, 185-176. Exceptional skaters for the game were Capital Punish-Her (Aliah McCord) and Flower Power (Daisy Baxter). Both have been selected to skate on Team USA West in the Junior Derby World Cup last summer.
Among 100 international junior teams, the Santa Cruz Derby Groms all-star team is currently ranked 10th.
The next Santa Cruz Derby Grils bout is March 12 at the Civic Auditorium. It will feature Santa Cruz’s All-star team, the Boardwalk Bombshells, taking on Bay Area Derby’s Oakland Outlaws. Tickets are at santacruztickets.com.
**Article by Eileen Hill as printed in the Santa Cruz Sentinel**
**Photo Credit: Arne Dietrich ©2016**