There was one sequence that nicely summed up Saturday’s Sidewalk Daze roller derby bout at the Hillcrest.
Mae WasteYa from Swift Current’s Redneck Betties flattened Moose Jaw’s Penny Pinch Her and sent her flying to the inside of the track. Once the Lil Chicago Roller Derby girl got her breath back she immediately hopped back up on her skates and gave Mae WasteYa a big hug.
There were some huge hits, some big crashes and a lot of love on the track as the Redneck Betties prevailed with a 209-114 win over Lil Chicago Roller Derby’s Jaw Breakers.
“I’ve never been hit like that. I didn’t see it coming,” said Michelle Drake who skates as Penny Pinch Her for the Jaw Breakers. “I’ve never been winded in my life. The air wouldn’t go in and I was panicking and thinking maybe it was broken.”
She probably should have seen a big hit coming since Mae WasteYa had left her with some battle scars earlier this year.
“I love Mae. The last game when we played in Swift Current, she hit me across the inside and I had a bruise like this, that lasted a month and was eight colours,” said Drake making a circle about a foot in diameter on her right hip.
“I couldn’t lay down on that side or sit on a chair. It was horrible. After she creamed me (Saturday) I said ‘I told you not to do it again’ and she said: ‘You told me not to bruise your bum.’”
Drake and Mae WasteYa were their respective teams most valuable players Saturday.
Both teams will have plenty of fresh bruises, but the familiar foes couldn’t break the bond they’ve built in the past 18 months.
“It’s a friendly rivalry,” said Natosha Wareham from the Jaw Breakers who needed medical attention after a big hit, but finished the game. “We’ve played each other so often. There is that camaraderie and we love playing each other. It’s so nice to play a team where after you can say: ‘wow that was an awesome hit. Ow.’”
Drake was a rookie at the same time as Redneck Betties jammer Jinger Vitis. They competed in rookie scrimmages against each other and chatted at the start line before their jams Saturday.
“The derby community is pretty close knit. Everybody helps everybody,” said Drake. “The thing with Lil Chicago is that we’re closest with Swift Current. We’ve played them four times. I love all those girls.”
The Redneck Betties took a strong 103-53 lead into the half, but the Jaw Breakers regrouped and cut the lead to 145-111 midway through the second half.
“We sat down in the locker room at half time and regrouped,” said Wareham. “We talked about things that were working and things that weren’t. We came out in the second half and played our game.”
Just as the Jaw Breakers were getting close, the Betties pulled away again. Jinger Vitis had a 30-point power play jam to help the visitors pull away.
The Betties played with number 09s on their helmets in honour of their teammate Kisme Assets who was in hospital in Saskatoon after she injured her leg in training earlier in the week.
While most of the players skated away from the big hits, Moose Jaw’s Alpha Ginger injured her left ankle and didn’t return.
The Jaw Breakers won’t play again at home until August 25.
“We have some time. Hopefully we can all heal up and recover and improve,” said Wareham. “Since we last played Swift Current we’ve improved so much. It’s been great. We’ve learned to do different things. It’s always a learning experience.”