A lot of retirements were announced at the end of last year, but no team in the top 15 teams seems to be undergoing as much change as the Windy City Rollers.
Today they announced their 2015 travel teams, both their charter team, the Windy City All-Stars, and Second Wind. And that line-up seems to be telling us that their WFTDA charter of 20 has a grand total of only six returning skaters.
Here’s a quick run down of what things will look like for WCR this coming season.
The Windy City Rollers have a long and highly competitive history with roller derby, having been around since 2004, playing their first season in 2005, and attending all nine WFTDA Championship tournaments. In 2008 they placed 2nd with a loss to Gotham, and currently sit at #11 as of the December WFTDA rankings.
The past few years they’ve had highly successful seasons, hovering in and around the top 10, even getting as high as #6 at the beginning of 2013. At last year’s playoffs, they pulled out an exciting win over currently #5 Texas Rollergirls, and then at Championships, they beat Rocky Mountain by 22 points. That win meant they had to face off against Rose City, who knocked them out 251-133, and also went on to take 2nd place.
This last season seemed to be the height of Windy City’s momentum and teamwork in recent years, with about seven possible jammers, and an immovable defense. Their roster went so deep in fact, that their non-charter travel team, Second Wind, was themselves quite the dominant force in 2014, matching up nicely with several Divsion 2 teams, and posting big scores over other top teams’ B-teams.
Since they had more capable jammers than they would roster in one game last year, they are likely to still have a strong rotation this year with their new team announcement. Familiar faces Killanois, The Jamburglar, Jan Trainor, and Ms Dr Joseph L Simonis are returning this season, along with the return of Zoe Trocious. Killjoy, who did start 2014 as an All-Star, has already proved her jamming talents this year on WCR’s home team, the Helle’s Belles, putting up big points, and helped take them to a one point win over the Fury last month, and has the potential to make similar tracks the rest of this year.
Hoosier Mama is a returning veteran who will likely become a leader in Windy City pack, and Daft Spunk spent some time on the charter last season, but not on the track. She is however, a Captain for the Manic Attackers, and should be another strong, experienced leader for the blockers. The only other skaters who have previously spent time on the All-Stars are Karmageddon, Phoebe Fi Fo Fum, and Mo Vengeance, along with about six more familiar names who were on the Second Wind last year.
In an inadvertent double trade-off, Mah-Ko and Samantha Judge came to Windy City from the Chicago Outfit, and Smarty McFly and Kill ‘Ems have left WCR to start this year with the Outfit.
As for the rest of last year’s All-Stars, we’ve already heard about Varla Vendetta’s retirement, KonichiWOW moved to upstate New York, and both Jackie Daniels and Sandrine Rangeon have made their move to the Texas Rollergirls in Austin. Many other non-returning skaters have been with the league for many years, and are likely just ready to hang up their skates.
So despite losing more than half their charter from last year, we haven’t seen the last of their victory arms yet; the Windy City Rollers will continue to be a strong force in the Midwest this season. Their whole league is full of many versatile and experienced skaters who are eager to step up and make their mark as part of a top level team.
With other leagues seeing some big changes themselves this year, the 2015 WFTDA tournaments are looking to be very exciting, with last year’s performances not necessarily a solid predictor of those games ahead.