Submitted by the Oz Roller Girls
OSWEGO — In their debut season, the Oz Roller Girls head into the midsummer break with a 4-2 record and hundreds of new fans for the growing sport of roller derby.
The season has exceeded expectations, in bouts and in community involvement, but has involved a lot of hard work, teamwork and learning.
The team’s inexperience showed when they traveled to take on the Hellions of Troy in Schenectady on Feb. 5 for Oz’s first match ever. The Hellions came out strong and opened up an 82-28 lead at the half. Slowly but surely, Oz gained their bearings and played a competitive second half in the 171-90 bout. Masso-Kiss-Tic Mandy led the way with 31 points, followed by 24 from J-Rock-It, but Oz in large part took away a learning experience.
The sport of roller derby made its public debut in Oswego April 23 as Oz defeated the Crown City Royal Pains 161-76 in a packed Crisafulli Rink. Oz set the tone early, with a 12-point initial jam by Masso-Kiss-Tic Mandy followed by 10 from J-Rock-It and another 12-pointer by Certified Public Assassin to open a 34-8 lead they would never relinquish. Masso-Kiss-Tic Mandy led the way with 47 points, followed by 30 by Certified Public Assassin, and the two combined for the most memorable play of the night, a very athletic flying waitress star pass where the team changes jammers — the position that can score — on the fly. Crushed Red Pepper added 27 for Oz, with Abbie Cadaver and J-Rock-It contributing 19 each.
They followed that up with the match of the year to date, as Oz pulled out a 185-183 thriller over the Black River Rollers from Watertown on May 14. It came down to the final jam as Certified Public Assassin — behind a blocking line of Masso-Kiss-Tic Mandy, Insane Assilem, Rock’Em Sock’Em and Medusa’s Might — grabbed lead jammer status and ran the clock down to the last few seconds, calling off the jam before the Black River Rollers could score.
A fast, physical game by the Black River Rollers put the visitors up 96-83 at the half. But Oz regrouped, chipped away at the lead and got the turning point on great team play. With Masso-Kiss-Tic Mandy in the penalty box, Oz blockers Certified Public Assassin, Short Fuze, Insane Assilem and Rock’Em Sock’Em started off a slowdown strategy, allowing Mandy to blast out of the penalty box and use her speed and teammates for a 19-point jam that gave Oz a 147-135 lead. Oz won on a balanced five-jammer attack, as Masso-Kiss-Tic Mandy led the way with 55 points, Certified Public Assassin with 46, Abbie Cadaver 33, Crushed Red Pepper 27 and J-Rock-It 24.
Oz ran their win streak to three with a 194-147 win over the ManchVegas Roller Girls in Manchester, N.H., on May 21. The teams battled back and forth much of the match until a spectacular 25-point jam by Abbie Cadaver behind the the blocking line of Cee Cee Boom, Insane Assilem, Rock’Em Sock’Em and Certified Public Assassin gave Oz a 151-111 lead scrappy ManchVegas couldn’t overcome. Oz again saw a balanced scoring attack with 64 from Masso-Kiss-Tic Mandy, 53 from Abbie Cadaver, 40 from J-Rock-It and 33 from Certified Public Assassin.
The three-game win streak hit a wall, however, as Oz fell 130-98 to Enchanted Mountain Derby’s Hellbilly Heartbreakers on June 11. The Heartbreakers took an early lead and kept Oz’s high-powered offense in check through a strong blocking game. Five jammers hit double figures for Oz: Masso-Kiss-Tic Mandy with 36 points, Abbie Cadaver with 21, J-Rock-It 19, Certified Public Assassin 12 and Insane Assilem 10.
Oz returned to the win column with a 172-109 road victory June 25 in a rematch against the Crown City Royal Pains in Cortland. A 13-point jam by Mass Jennocide in the third jam of the night gave Oz a 17-4 lead they never relinquished. Certified Public Assassin and J-Rock-It had huge scoring nights, with 66 and 55 points, respectively, followed by Abbie Cadaver with 29 points and Mass Jennocide with 18.
In addition to its winning record, the Oz Roller Girls also strive to make a difference in their community. Their home bouts to date have raised money for the local Veterans Administration Outreach Clinic, Oswego County Humane Society and Move Along Inc. They have entertained communities at the Memorial Day Salute in Fulton and Oswego Independence Parade, and held a food drive to help hungry families.
The Oz Roller Girls’ next home bout will be Family Night on Saturday, August 27, when they host the ManchVegas Roller Girls at Oswego’s Crisafulli Rink. Proceeds will support the Chick Anery Fight Club, and attendees are invited to bring school supplies for a Stuff-A-Bus collection that will help schoolchildren who cannot afford their own supplies. Oz wraps its inaugural season with a home bout Sept. 10 against Central New York rivals Assault City Roller Derby.
In addition, many Oz skaters will take part in the three-day Triple-D (Derby, Down and Dirty) event during Harborfest weekend. The first-ever local roller derby tournament, July 29 to 31, will feature teams and skaters from across the state in three days of competition and fun at Crisafulli Rink.
For more information on the Oz Roller Girls, visit ozrollergirls.com.