Naptown Gives Bleeding Heartland a Schooling
by Valerie Hurtinelli
It had been three decades since the sound of quad skates on a trucked-in track had filled the Coliseum, but roller derby returned to the Indiana State Fairgrounds’ grand hall in grand style when the Naptown Roller Girls took on Bloomington’s Bleeding Heartland Roller Girls on Nov. 7. “Whip This!,” NRG’s first home bout of Season Four featured the double-header match-up of Naptown’s junior-varsity Warning Belles verses BHRG’s Code Blue Assassins and Indy’s veteran Tornado Sirens versus B-town’s Bleeding Heartland Flatliners.
The Belles’ first bout of the night introduced the 3,253 fans in attendance to newcomers Old Broad, Dazy Disaster, Fonda Kiknbutz, Freddie Cougar, and Maiden America. It also re-introduced fans to a Naptown classic: Strawberry Jam. One of NRG’s founding members, Strawberry Jam spent a couple of seasons sidelined with injuries but made her comeback at this history-making bout deep in the Belle’s signature unified pack. Bloomington brought some equally potent B-Teamers in the form of captain Tijuana Momma and power-hitter Truly F Obvious. But early in the first bout, Bleeding Heartland started hemorrhaging points. While Naptown blockers-led by Josephine BoneApart, Asian Sinsation, Joanie Gouge, Valerie Hurtinelli, and double-threat Noxious Donna-kept the opposing team in check, allowing jammers like Racer Xtasy and Maiden (both of whom racked up 19-point jams) to weave through to rack up a final score of 124 to 33 in Naptown’s favor.
As the Warning Belles skated off the track to celebrate their victory, the Tornado Sirens skated on, a sign to the crowd that the evening of roller derby was far from over. Fan favorites Touretta Lynn, Blazin’ Ace, and Shadi Layne slipped into war mode, while Belle recruits Blue Messiah, Ima Hurchu and Psychedelic Sandy geared up for their first A-Team home bout. The Sirens grabbed a strong lead over the Flatliners, quickly, even with the aggressively speedy KaKa Caliente wearing the star and the bulldozing Margles McNasty blocking in the Bloomington pack.
Always known for her speed and muscle, Ace earned even more respect for her grace and footwork during this competition. Skating like a perpetual motion machine, magically cutting through packs with every pass, Ace rolled away with 60 points-a total that had fans on their feet in support, even as the vet sat in the penalty box after a botched star-pass attempt. 4Leaf Cleaver kept the back of the pack in check while her fellow standout Sweet C tended to the front. But teamwork and communication throughout the blocking contingent gave the Sirens an invincible edge over the visitors. In the end, NRG’s A Team skated away with a 121-34 win over Bleeding Heartland.
(Top photo: Fonda Kiknbutz by Tom K. Bottom photo: 4 Leaf Cleaver by Marc L.)