The Shevil Knevils
In anticipation of the Brewcity Bruisers’ 2011 home season opener on January 8 at the US Cellular Arena, DJ Hostettler, aka BCB announcer DrAwkward, will preview each home team for ThirdCoast Digest.
Now, after several seasons of trying to turn the league doormat into a contender by adding rookies like a shut-in adds Facebook friends, the Shevils have become a team of dangerous veterans, most of whom return from last year’s 3-2 campaign, which ended in a 78-59 championship loss to the Rollettes.
“The Shevils are looking solid this year with 15 returning vets and 5 amazing new skaters,” says Nipps. “Our team has stayed pretty much the same except for the loss of our jammer extraordinaire Femeldahyde, who moved to Minneapolis this summer; brick-house Cosmic Chaos, who is helping along the sidelines on Alumni status; and mean grandma Domino, who is currently retired but revving up to kick some ass again next season.”
One of those returning vets was a standout rookie herself last season—last year’s BCB Rookie of the Year (as well as a nominee for Derby News Network’s national Rookie of the Year) Skittle. The jam-skating sensation (who last year spurred a cheering section we announcers dubbed “the Rainbow Coalition”) combined with the triple-threat (jammer, blocker, and pivot) Nipps to provide a brutal one-two jammer punch. Nipps lead the team with 118 points (including a thrilling 20-point jam to force overtime in a nailbiter against Maiden Milwaukee), with Skittle right behind her with 117.
Other notable veterans returning include the sometimes Mondo Lucha-starring blocker Terror Lapinski (who lead the league last year with 12 jammer takedowns, tied with the Crazy 8s’ Servin’ Justice), 2010 WFTDA President Grace Killy (another triple-threat who lead the team with a 2.63 plus/minus blocker rating), and crafty blocking vets Milwaukee’s Breast and Trash Talkin’ Tina (yet another Shevil triple-threat).
“With all the new talent and a powerhouse of returning vets, we are certain to dominate this year,” a confident Moby Nipps proclaims.
And how about those rooks? Nipps and Bier aren’t shy about sharing their excitement for “Team Pretty’s” fresh brews. “Bloody Cupcake was a competitive speed skater,” explains Bier. “She has the potential to be killer. You can see it when she breaks the pack and hits the gas! Candy Acid flew under the draft radar. She can jam and she can block. She has a natural ability for derby. Her awareness is better than most fresh brews.”
Nipps continues: “Her sequins may blind you, but you wouldn’t have had a chance to see Spazzle Dazzle skate by you anyway. Wok n Roll is all puppies and kittens—with their heads bitten off. ZeZe Rider is true blue. And red. And white. And she will kill you.”
And what will the rookies be up to on the track?
“We are unsure of who is going to jam at this point,” says Bier. “It’s all starting to unfold and they are all willing to try. Spazzle has a lap time that rivals– and one time even beat– Skittle’s, but knowing how to read blockers is a skill that is developed over time and she might not be ready yet!”
“We were looking for people with personalities that fit the Shevil bill,” continues Bier. “We are a fun and close team. It’s always tricky to introduce people to a group, not to mention a group of women who have a season or more of playing roller derby together under their belt.”
The Shevil Knevils kick off 2011 with a championship rematch against the feared 3-time champion Rushin’ Rollettes—although Nipps and Bier hardly sound scared. It must be all that experience, right? “I was once the Captain of the Windy City Rollers Travel Team; the team that I built went on to dominate the Midwestern region for the last 3 years. Nipps and I are implementing strategy from them with the Shevils this year and I think we will do well. I think it is one of the keys to us being undefeated this year. “
Moby Nipps—as she often does—gets right to the point. “We have a lot of skill to distribute through the positions and a few weapons to bust out when we really want to seal the deal and blow the other team out of the water. Fear the Shevil in 2011.”