580 RollerGirls fall to OKC in entertaining bout
With a new coach helming the 580 RollerGirls and a long-time team star playing her final Lawton bout during the return of another long-time hero to the home track, there was a lot of energy filling the Great Plains Coliseum Saturday night.
In a knuckle to knuckle fight for points, 580 fell short to the Oklahoma City Roller Derby's Lightning Broads, 189-157.
The bout pitted long-time RollerGirl Kaley Meyer, a.k.a. Trigger Trixie, against her old team for the first time since moving. For 580, it was the final local skate for Ellen Beaudry Lechel, a.k.a. Elle Beau Macaroni. She had also been serving as coach while being a key force, both as a blocker and jammer. Lechel is moving on up as an Army infantry officer. With Lechel's absence, Daniel Bates, a.k.a. Coach Dan, has taken over the helm. Each lady skated with tenacity and provoked their teammates to new levels throughout the flat track scrabble.
About 15 minutes into the first half, an Oklahoma City blocker took a hard turn to the concrete. The game was shut down for nearly a half-hour as her ankle braced and readied for transport. The silence throughout the large venue became as much a feature as the banners to the walls. When play resumed, Lawton held a 67-27 lead. It would be a tough grasp but the squad would hold the lead into the half, 109-79.
The second half became a tug of war after 580 went up 116-89. The visitors slowed down the home offense and racked up points, evening the score to 124 all with 18 minutes left. The clamps shut down as Oklahoma City surged to a 152-135 lead. Despite a last push by 580, the bout ended with a loss. 580 is now 3-5 for the season.
Lechel earned MVP jammer honors and Alicia Vernor, a.k.a. Kurvacious Pride earned top blocker honors for 580.
Marie Berberea, a.k.a. Molly Meet Your Maker, said the blockers used a new strategy implemented by Coach Dan that helped. After the bout, he wrote the team members about something he noticed by a pack of 5-8-year old fans during the game:
"In case you wonder, you are making a huge impact on our young girl fans! ... They were pretending to be YOU! You are their role models of strong women who are their heroes!!"
If you want to join the team and take your place, open recruitment will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, at Laugh Out Loud, 6720 Quanah Parker Trailway. All those interested in joining simply need to show up to get more information.
Non-skating officials and referees are also needed for the upcoming season. These are volunteers who help the team with no skating, or less physical skating required. Non-skating officials keep track of everything from penalties during play, to the score, to running the clock between each jam.