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Devil's Club claims first co-ed vs. co-ed derby victory


dani palmer / Wrangell Sentinel

Petersburg Ragnarok Rollers' jammer Alice "LewdaFrisk" Williams gets surrounded by (from left to right) Erica "Kooks Deluxe" Tlachac, Cyni "CyniStar" Waddington and Corree "Tenacious Taffy" Delabrue from the Wrangell Garnet Grit Betties during Saturday's derby bout in the Petersburg High School gym.

Petersburg hosted and won the state's first co-ed vs. co-ed roller derby bout Saturday night and, "oh my gosh, it was so great," Devil's Club Co-Captain Rebecca Anderson said of the co-ed experience.

The Southeast team, comprised of Petersburg and Wrangell skaters, defeated Fairbanks' Frozen Chosen 182-165 in the Petersburg High School gym.

Devil's Co-Captain Shawna Buness, of Wrangell, said the co-ed bout "was really exciting for how new derby is in Southeast." The men who normally referee the game got to actually play in it.

Anderson, of Petersburg, said the Petersburg Ragnarok Rollers and Wrangell Garnet Grit Betties joined forces to create the co-ed team so they could play Frozen Chosen. The team hopes to help eliminate the notion that derby is just a female sport.

Devil's Club Co-ed Derby (DCCD) was formed within about a month, Anderson noted, with its three male members getting very little contact practice beforehand. The team hadn't even practiced together before Saturday's bout.

"We didn't expect to do as well as we did," Anderson said. "We kind of just went in there with the mentality of 'we're going to go in there and have fun and do the best we can and just enjoy this experience of the first co-ed, co-ed game.'"

But after the first 15 minutes or so, she added, they realized they had a shot at winning.

There was a shift from "let's just have fun" to "we could win."

dani palmer / Wrangell Sentinel

"4Chuck'sAche" on the Devil's Club Coed Derby team jams past Fairbanks Frozen Chosen's "Just Julie" during Saturday's afternoon bout in Petersburg. The Petersburg-Wrangell players on Devils Club won, 182 to 165. The bout was touted as the first-ever coed derby bout in Alaska.

"It was just a lot of teamwork between the two teams," Buness said of the win, adding "it's hard to mash up two teams without practice" but that DCCD's defense was great, and the males did well in the jammer position, the one that works to get past blockers and score points in a roller derby bout.

"4Chuck'sAche (Charles Ross) has reffed less than two months, and he went out and rocked it," she added. "It was awesome to see him shine."

Four Wrangell females then went on to join the rest of their Garnet Grit Betties in a win over the Petersburg Ragnarok Rollers, 230-120.

Buness, who also serves as the Betties' coach, pointed to defense once again and said "really strong jammers allowed us to keep scoring points."

She also highlighted her team's endurance and the performance of MVP blocker Erica "Kooks Deluxe" Tlachac and jammer MVP Lizzy "Romane Event" Romane.

"They, as usual, performed above average," she said.

Up next for the Wrangell Garnet Grit Betties is the state tournament in May.


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