Skater of the Month
Who is Kate “Bananas” Santee besides the quiet thunder behind the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls’ (LVRG) Special Vixens Unit? This skater is this month’s rough and tumble LVRG Skater of the Month.
Starting with LVRG in January of 2011, Kate is entering her fourth season. We asked Kate how she got started with roller derby, and she stated, “It’s hard for me to pinpoint when or how I exactly got into roller derby. I had vaguely heard about the sport before and may have entertained the thought of playing a few times, but I wasn’t aware of any teams in the area yet and I didn’t take the notion of playing seriously at first because I didn’t have much of an athletic background. In the months following my college graduation in 2010, I had something of a quarter life crisis—I had already struggled with depression before, and the emerging feelings of isolation and aimlessness were the cherries on top of a very sad sundae. Around this time I stumbled upon LVRG’s fan page through someone’s Facebook profile and it just happened to be around the time they were having an open recruit night, so I thought, "Why not?" Now it’s nearly been three years of crazy good training and bonding with some incredible skaters that have all changed my life for the better.”
Captain of the Special Vixens Unit, Wayward Stay mentioned that “Kate improved over the 2013 season which paid off when she made the roster for her first official SVU bout. Kate fights hard for every new skill learned and has a strong will to keep improving. She has a never give up spirit that is welcomed on the track.”Read more
If there ever was a team ready to travel 10 hours to play roller derby, the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls (LVRG) is exactly that team. With over 550 miles between them and playing the WFTDA’s Division 2 Cape Fear Roller Girls (Cape Fear), LVRG used road antics such as team planks and other various funny photo moments captured and published on FaceBook for their long ride to pump themselves and their fans up for this exciting match up. But once they arrived in Wilmington, NC, LVRG was ready for business.
According to flattrackstats.com, there was no clear favorite to this game, as a 2 to 2 scoring ratio was predicted. The Cape Fear Roller Girls sit in a higher division than LVRG and are ranked nationally according to the WFTDA at the 110 position as compared to LVRG’s 134 ranking. With this knowledge, LVRG was ready for a hard battle, and because of that, they started the game with their strongest line ups of the season, and never turned back.Immediately from the first jam, LVRG pulled a track cut on Cape Fear, sending their jammer directly to the penalty box. This gave LVRG an immediate lead during the first 2 jams of the game. But this didn’t stop right then and there, Cape Fear got 2 more jammer penalties, leaving them without a jammer for the first 5 jams of the game. LVRG certainly capitalized on this and brought their score up to an early 2-40 lead within the first 7 minutes of game play.
From that point on, lead jammer status seemed to be a battle. Typically, lead jammer status is determined by turn 1 of the track. However with both teams battling and forming tight defensive walls, the jammers weren’t coming out of the initial lap’s pack until turn 3, which was tiring them out. With lead changing back and forth a bit, Cape Fear caught up in points to 24-64 (LVRG) with 15 minutes left in the first half.
The second half of the first period both teams played pound for pound with the same fury. Lead jammer status was shared almost equally by both teams and at the end of the first half, the score still favored LVRG with a score of 60-103.
With only 43 points separating the teams at the half, it was still anyone’s game. A game can be won or lost by a quick power jam, however LVRG did not give Cape Fear that option. One of the most impressive feats LVRG accomplished during this bout was that throughout LVRG history, this was the first time that none of their jammers were sent to the penalty box. LVRG’s Jammers MJ SlamHer, Ginga Railed U and Toxic Shock were flawless.
After 15 minutes of game play in the second half of the game, LVRG continued increasing their lead with a score of 79-131. But it wasn’t until the last few minutes of the game when... Read more
Ref of the Month
Many teams boast the skills of their skaters and how much dedication it takes to rule the track. What many forget are the faces behind the stripes and the pure passion that many an official has for the sport and love of roller derby. One such gallant derby zebra is the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls’ (LVRG) own Ria Culpa.
Ria started with LVRG in August of 2007. YES, that’s 6 years and 7 seasons that he has been with LVRG. He got started with roller derby because some of the current skaters would come into his old place of business to make professional prints of bout posters and it got him interested in watching games. He quickly become a super-fan and he eventually decided to join the officiating crew.
We asked Ria Culpa to describe what he liked about officiating. He stated, “on a non-serious note, I love the hand signals for penalties. Illegal procedures make me feel like I’m doing the shuffle. Out of plays and no-packs make me feel like I’m doing the robot. High-blocks allow me to itch my nose. Delays of game are denoted with a "Z" on the board, and I’m partial to that letter for some reason. On a more serious note, I don’t "like" to call penalties, I just call them to support the rule set as it is. If I see something illegal happen from beginning to end, and it’s against the rules in the impact spectrum, I call them. To that end, I like being able to call multi-player blocks and other things that mean that I’m "in the zone" and seeing everything I need to see.”
Skater of the Month
Skating with the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls (LVRG) for 4 seasons, Kristina Schware, better known in the derby community as Cagey Rage, is not only a LVRG Board of Directors member, but also a skater with true personality.
As a skater, Cagey Rage says that her goals constantly change. She sometimes focuses on making charters and rosters but other times she just focuses on the sport itself and increasing her skills, such as endurance, agility and team cohesiveness.
When asked about her most memorable moment of LVRG 2013 season, she stated there have been many small special moments of 2013 that I will treasure as memories for many years. None of them are great feats performed on the track (truthfully, I usually forget a lot of the game play soon after it happens). They are all teammate related. I love the car rides with other skaters to bouts and scrimmages. I love meeting the opposing team after a game and sharing a beer. I love the sisterhood of derby. And the ice cream party at the end of the year to celebrate SVU (the Special Vixens Unit) undefeated season was a true highlight. The best reward for working hard as a team.
Check out the new photos of your favorite rollergirls!
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