Roller Derby bout thrills Cortez crowd
4 Corners Rollergirls put on a show in defeat
As live music blared, scores of colorfully dressed, colorfully named skaters warmed up on the Cortez Middle School gym floor. Eventually, a whistle sounded, referees took their positions and skaters readied for battle. The bout was about to begin.
On Aug. 31 at approximately 5 p.m., the sport of Roller Derby officially debuted in Cortez. Matching the hometown 4 Corners Rollergirls against the West Slope All-Stars, the event lasted roughly two hours, and even after the final buzzer sounded, nobody in the near-capacity crowd seemed ready to leave.
During the opening period of the bout, the West Slope All-Stars demonstrated why they are known as one of the elite roller derby units in the area. Teaming powerful blockers with skilled jammers, the All-stars raced to a 104-26 halftime lead. In Roller Derby, a point is awarded when a designated player from a given team, known as the jammer, passes the opposing team’s blocker more than once. Points are also awarded to a team whose jammer laps the opposing team’s jammer.
“(The All-Stars) were tough,” said Rollergirls head coach, Steve “Trophy Coach” Heath. “Whenever you put together an all-star team with four or five different leagues, it’s a tough bunch of girls. I’m really proud of the Cortez team. They really showed up and played well.”
During the second period of the bout, the Rollergirls picked up their play, blasting through Durango blockers numerous times on their way to points. By the time the half expired, the Roller Girls had picked up 62 points, losing by a final score of 171-88.
“This was a lot of fun, and we wanted to have a good time,” said Rollergirls skater, Julie “Bone-digger” Bell. “The Derby is supposed to be fun and we just wanted to entertain the home crowd.”
Without a doubt, the home crowd did not leave disappointed. Rising to their feet at multiple times throughout the event, members of the Cortez community clearly had a good time.
“(The Derby) was really exciting,” said spectator Montezuma-Cortez High School student, Sera King. “There was a lot going on the entire time. It was a fun experience.”
Hoping to build on the event’s success, the Rollergirls are planning to host another home bout before the end of the year.
“We’re hoping to spread the love of derby to this community,” said Heath. “We would like to get another bout set up before the end of the year.”
“We’ve been doing this for two and a half years and to finally play in front of a home crowd, there is nothing better that that,” added Bell. “We’re hoping to do this again soon.”
Based on the overall excitement of the night, it seems unlikely that anyone in the Cortez community would be opposed. Roller Derby has arrived in Cortez and in all likelihood, the fun is just beginning.