The Yukon Roller Girls currently don’t have enough skaters to make a full team, but that’s not stopping them from notching wins.
Four members of the Whitehorse-based roller derby club teamed up with Alaskans at the Season Finale Derby Mash-Up in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Saturday.
The finale, hosted by the Fairbanks Rollergirls, saw two mish-mashed teams of players from Fairbanks, North Pole, Juneau and Yukon compete.
All four Yukon skaters were on the Black team that won 157-124 over the White team.
“It was really fun. We were really happy to play with the Fairbanks Rollergirls again,” said Yukon coach and player Andrea “Honey Badger” Badger. “We haven’t skated competitively since September when we skated against North Pole. Fairbanks is always a fun team to play and they were really fun at the tournament last year – they were fun, friendly and good skaters. It was good to be on the track with them and skate again.”
Joining Honey Badger on the trip were Lindsay “Bonanza Babe” Agar, Holly “Bacon Bergina” Smith and newcomer Amanda Couch.
Agar, who also skated as jammer, was named Black’s MVP blocker.
“Over the last year we’ve had a number of derby-related and non-derby-related injuries and pregnancies and retirements and people moved away from town,” said Badger. “Numbers are down. We only have eight skaters right now, which is not enough for a team. You need a minimum of 10 people for a team. So we were happy to take the four senior skaters up for the weekend.”
The Yukon Roller Girls have lost two of their top jammers over the past year. Whitehorse’s Amil “the Fighting Mongoose Dupuis-Rossi” retired from derby in November to pursue other interests. Jammer Jennifer “Lady C” Duncombe also left the group following an ankle injury sustained against the Juneau Rollergirls early last year.
To help get numbers back up the Yukon crew plans to hold weekly skates on Whitehorse’s Millennium Trail and at the Canada Games Centre this summer. They will also start a “Fresh Meat” program for new skaters in September.
“By next February we hope to have a competitive team again,” said Badger.
Last Saturday was not the first time the Yukon Roller Girls had success in Fairbanks. Yukon went undefeated to win the first annual United We Roll Roller Derby Tournament in Fairbanks a
The Yukon Roller Girls clinched first place with a 179-120 win over Fairbanks’ Raven Rebels in the final. The Yukon squad was the only one from Canada in the tournament, with five Alaskan teams also competing for the title.
Saturday also marked the first competition since Yukon defeated North Pole, Alaska’s Babes in Toyland 254-243 in September.
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