Fun had as Keweenaw Roller Derby hosts Solar System Smackdown

Players await a jammer during the Solar System Smackdown Saturday at the Calumet Colosseum. (Kent Kraft/For the Gazette)

CALUMET — Roller Derby Season officially got underway in the Keweenaw on Saturday evening. Keweenaw Roller Derby (KRD) kicked off their home bouts with a Big Banger… actually a whole team of them. In their 10th annual Solar System Smackdown, the two teams facing off were the Big Bangers and the Wormhole Warriors.

The bout was an invitational, pitting members of the KRD squad against one another while welcoming in derby skaters from across the “solar system” to compete as well.

Cosmic fun was had by those on track and those in the stands cheering the skaters on.

As halftime approached, the Wormhole Warriors seemed quite content with an 80-44 lead. Determination was the mood seen on the faces of the Big Bangers as they left the track.

While fans were entertained with a halftime dancing show and the Whip-A-Wheel competition, both teams caught their breath and planned for the second half.

The Bangers put together some solid strategy as they were able to outscore their opponents in the second half, 79-77, but the earlier deficit was just too much to overcome as the final score ended up in favor of the Warriors, 157-123.

Regardless of the score, enjoyment was evident on the faces of the skaters as they lined up for the celebratory high-five skate-of-fame, congratulating one another and absorbing the love of the fans who swarmed the side of the track.

As festivities drew to a close for onlookers, fans left the building with smiles on their faces and a buzz of conversation in the air as they made plans to attend future home bouts of KRD this season.

In a truly excellent display of the spirit of the game and camaraderie of these players, the teams chose MVPs from the opposing squads. The Wormhole Warriors were impressed by the speedy and nimble Random NPC who won MVP Jammer, and the fierce defense put up by PenaltyFoxx, who nabbed the MVP Blocker award.

Returning the honors, the Big Bangers had trouble keeping MVP Jammer StefLeppard behind their blockers, and their own jammers had a hard time finding a way past MVP Blocker Arm&Slam’er.

For anyone who has not attended a KRD bout before, they feature hard-hitting action, fast-paced jams, head-bobbing musical jams from the DJ and some of the punniest names around. Fitting with this bout’s space theme, Starbuck, Captain Painway, Mon On The Moon and Star Slayer all took to the track. Other great wordplays include Jeffrey Dahminator, Johnny Crash, Afro Disiac and, with a little local flair, Suomi Slammer.

At $5 for tickets, with kids 10 and under getting in free, it is hard to find a more economical good time.


The KRD squad unifies once again to take on Grand Raggidy Roller Derby on June 22 at 6 p.m. in the Calumet Colosseum, with doors opening at 5 p.m. Having gone up against Chippewa Valley Roller Derby back on May 11, and coming away with a hard-fought 132-02 loss, KRD looks to get back to their winning ways.


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