Local junior derby team to make their debut
© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Anya Azz from the Lil Chicago Jaw Breakers leans into Belicose Blonde from Swift Current's Redneck Betties in action from the Central Division tournament held earlier this year.
The Lil Chicago Roller Derby League will end their first season at the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre with a glimpse at the future.
The Moose Jaw derby league will conclude their season with a double-header Saturday that will feature the debut of their junior team: Lil Chicago’s Most Wanted.
“This is the first year we’ve had a junior league,” said Karla Pratt from Lil Chicago Roller Derby. “We’ve had youngsters all the way up to teenagers and we’ve had contact and non-contact. They’re just amazing. Many of them hadn’t been on roller skates and if they had they’d been on Rollerblades and not the quad skates.
“We couldn’t be more proud of them. They’ve just been phenomenal.”
The Most Wanted will play the Smalltown Smashers who are the Gapland Rollers’ junior team and hail from Rocanville.
The Moose Jaw juniors will have nearly 20 players in their ranks and the players span a large age range between eight and 17 years of age. The skaters are separated by age and will broken up into lines of contact and non-contact jams.
“They’ve just been astounding us,” said Pratt. “Many of them have been able to pick up moves and different maneuvers that girls in our adult league have struggled with. These girls pick it up like it’s second nature.
“It’s going to be exciting and I think the community will enjoy it too. The kids games are always fun.”
The junior game will start at 6 p.m. and will be followed by the Lil Chicago Jaw Breakers bout against Swift Current’s Veronicas at 8 p.m. The Veronicas will be a ‘B team’ for the more experience Redneck Betties team.
“Swift Current has been around a number of years and they’ve been good comrades on skates, if you will, to our league,” said Pratt. “They’ve been mentors to us in a lot of respects. The Veronicas are their new team, their B team, and we play at a B team level in some respects, so we’re expecting a pretty even match-up as well.”
The Jaw Breakers lost the Central Division tournament third-place game 298-111 to the Redneck Betties. The Veronicas will feature a few members of the Betties, but should offer a closer game to close out the season.
Lil Chicago Roller Derby had an eventful season. They debuted in their new home and hosted a game featuring the provincial teams of Saskatchewan and Alberta. They also hosted the Central Division tournament that crowned a provincial champion. The Jaw Breakers won a game there and finished fourth out of the six teams.
“It’s been a busy year for us. We’ve come a long way over the last few months,” said Pratt. “It’s kind of mixed emotions: we’re ready for the break, but we’re also really eager to get this final bout of the season under our belts.”