By: John “Fragglepuss” Evans
The SpudTown Knockdown 3 tournament is a double-elimination roller derby tournament that was held over Labor Day weekend in Boise, Idaho. As the name implies, 2012 was the third year of the SpudTown Knockdown and it was bigger than ever. Ten Roller Derby leagues from five states (Montana, Utah, Washington, Oregon, and California) competed over two days to become the champion of the tournament. There were 12 bouts (30 minutes each) on Saturday and 6 full-length bouts on Sunday.
The opening bout was between Cherry City Derby Girls (Salem, Oregon) and Junction City Roller Dolls (Ogden, Utah). Cherry City was able to take the early lead, but Junction City stormed ahead and won the bout despite a final 20-point jam by First Class Azz of Cherry City. Junction City 92 Cherry City 58.
The Magic City Rollers (Billings, Montana) then faced off against the Happy Valley Derby Darlins (Spanish Fork, Utah). This was Happy Valley’s first tournament. Happy Valley played hard with impressive blocking skills by Bust ‘Em Buxom, but Magic City proved too much for Happy Valley as they took the lead at the beginning of the bout and held on strong. Magic City 96 Happy Valley 44.
Wasatch Roller Derby’s B-team (Salt Lake City, Utah) played the Hellgate Rollergirls (Missoula, Montana) in the third bout of the day. Hellgate took the first lead of the bout. Wasatch stole the lead with a 9-point power jam by Bunz Bunny. Hellgate regained the lead with a 19-point power jam and held the lead until the end. Hellgate 77 Wasatch 36.
The San Diego Starlettes (San Diego, California) went head-to-head against the Lava City Roller Dolls (Bend, Oregon). This was an action-packed bout from the first whistle. At the end of the first jam the score favored Lava City at 23-10. San Diego came back and took the lead with a 24-point am by Iliac Attack. Lava City fought hard, closing the gap to 8 points at the final whistle. San Diego 100 Lava City 92.
Next up, Junction City’s second bout of the day. They played the Jet City Bombers (Everett, Washington). Jet City came into the tournament as the #1 seed and showed everybody why they deserved the top spot. Junction City played hard, but Terror FaceOff scored 51points in the 30-minute bout, leading Jet City to the victory. Jet City 127 Junction City 14.
Next bout, the host of SpudTown, the Treasure Valley Rollergirls (Boise, Idaho) against Magic City. Magic City drew first blood with a 5-0 lead, but it was the all Treasure Valley show after that with the help of Scarlet Danger’s blocking. Treasure Valley 122 Magic City 52.
Bout 7 of SpudTown was the opening bout of the loser’s bracket. Two Utah leagues faced off as Junction City played Happy Valley. Junction City was in the lead with 23 points when a Happy Valley power jam brought the score to 23-22 thanks to Cookie’s jamming. Happy Valley was only down by a single point. The lead was within reach, but Junction City, led by Slayer Cake’s blocking, was able to add to their lead and defeat Happy Valley. Junction City 88 Happy Valley 37.
Cherry City and Magic City played next in the loser’s bracket. Magic City showed heavy determination in not wanting to be eliminated from the tournament. They controlled the lead throughout the bout. Cherry City had a final push with a 28-point power jam in the last jam but it was not enough. Magic City 100 Cherry City 68.
Tournament play continued in the loser’s bracket. Junction City played their fourth bout of the day with a bout against Lava City. Junction showed that they were already warmed up by taking a 12-0 lead. Lava City was able to come together and win the bout. Lava City 113 Junction City 52.
For the last bout of the day in the loser’s bracket, Magic City played their fourth bout of the day by facing Wasatch. Wasatch led 5-0 after the first jam. Uno Dos Traci showed off remarkable jamming skills and Magic City continued their impressive showing at SpudTown. Magic City 136 Wasatch 46.
Back to the winner’s bracket. Jet City vs San Diego. San Diego laid it on thick, taking a 37-0 lead over Jet. Jet picked it up after that, with Terror FaceOff again being the high scorer for Jet, scoring 32 points. San Diego held on strong at the end. San Diego 112 Jet City 78.
The last bout of the day was Treasure Valley vs Hellgate. Treasure Valley came out swinging and kept going until the end. The blockers worked as a team and the jammers were like the Energizer bunny, just going and going and going…Treasure Valley 117 Hellgate 20.
Sunday’s bouts were all full-length and started with Lava City vs Hellgate in the loser’s bracket. The only lead that Hellgate picked up was a 3-1 lead in the first jam. After that Lava took over and piled on the points. Lava City 263 Hellgate 146.
Jet City vs Magic City was the next bout in the loser’s bracket. Jet City won by less than 100 points, but could have won by 300 if they wanted to. They rotated in practically every skater as a jammer for one or two jams. They showed a lot more heart on the track than they had on Saturday. Jet City 180 Magic City 89.
Back to the winner’s bracket, Treasure Valley vs San Diego. San Diego started this bout off with a strategy that I had never seen before, the jammer put the panty over her helmet with her mouthguard still stuck in the helmet. As she pulled the panty off to retrieve the rogue mouthguard the ref realized she did not have it in the appropriate location and she was sent to the penalty box. This helped Treasure Valley pickup a 10-1 lead. San Diego gained the lead shortly after and Treasure Valley played catch-up the rest of the bout. San Diego 200 Treasure Valley 116
Jet City vs Lava City. Lava City played with a lot of heart, giving their all until the end, but Jet controlled the bout as they had done against Magic City earlier in the day. The blocking of Marilyn Gun-Hoe and ReAnimater showed the veteran status of the two skaters. Grr Rawr Rawr showed great jamming skills. Jet City 245 Lava City 101.
Jet City vs Treasure Valley. The winner of this bout would go on to play San Diego in the championship bout. The loser would take 3rd place at the tournament. Both teams showed tough blocking and a lot of defense. Raggedy Ann-iliation had multiple impressive hits. Jet City maintained a small lead throughout most of the bout and would move on to the championship bout. Congratulations to Treasure Valley on a 3rd place finish at SpudTown! Jet City 144 Treasure Valley 117.
It was at this point that a break was given to give the men a chance to play. Uinta Madness Roller Derby (Salt Lake City, Utah) went up against the home town Capital City Skull Crushers (Boise, Idaho). These teams have played multiple times and Uinta has always come out with the win. Uinta was riddled with penalties and Capital City was able to use teamwork to pull out their first victory against the team from Salt Lake.
The championship bout. San Diego vs Jet City. San Diego had defeated Jet City the day before, but that was only a 30-minute bout and Jet was not ready to let it happen again. Both teams showed from the first whistle why they were the final two teams in this tournament, fighting for the 1st place finish. Although Jet City skated long and hard, San Diego showed dominance throughout most of the bout and became the champion of the SpudTown Knockdown 3! Congratulations to San Diego on their 1st place finish! Congratulations as well to Jet City on a 2nd place finish! San Diego 267 Jet City 149.
SpudTown was such a fun tournament. As the Tournament Director, CandyMan, stated: “SpudTown is the best of the rest of the West”. It is exciting to see these leagues play each other and get some tournament play before the Regional playoffs begin. It was my second year attending SpudTown, this year as the Head Announcer, and the action has been amazing both years. As long as the Treasure Valley Rollergirls put on this tournament, I will be in attendance.
For photos of the SpudTown Knockdown 3 tournament: (Photos courtesy of Stroker Ego) http://jsantti.smugmug.com/Category/Spudtown-2012