Introducing The Grand Central Terminators
by: Thomas GerbasiOctober 24, 2012
Check out upcoming games for the Grand Central Terminators and other Gotham Girls Roller Derby teams.
Introducing The Grand Central Terminators
by Thomas Gerbasi
With only three regular season games per season for each of Gotham Girls Roller Derby’s four home teams, playing time is a valuable commodity in short supply for the skaters who don’t have roster spots on GGRD’s two travel teams: the All-Stars and the Wall Street Traitors.
Well, another travel team of course, and this Saturday at the Nat Holman Gym at CCNY in Manhattan, the Grand Central Terminators will make their public debut in a full-length bout against theThird Coast from Chicago's Windy City Rollers. The 7pm bout will open the doubleheader headlined by the Wall Street Traitors’ rematch with Windy City’s Second Wind for the Skyline Cup.
Gotham's Grand Central Terminators arrive on Saturday, clad in purple.
So how did this all come together? Co-captain Angela Slamsbury has the story.
“[As a Gotham skater] you’re doing all this committee work, you’re going to all these practices, and we scrimmage at our Crash Pad every week, and that’s great, but you also want a little more than just those three or four home team bouts,” she said. “And you also want to play different people because that really helps you grow. You get used to playing the same teams, and even if it’s hard, you know what to expect all the time, and there’s definitely a separate challenge in playing a team you don’t know. We have no idea what’s gonna happen, and that’s been pretty exciting and challenging.”
Formed earlier this year, the Terminators have laced up their skates for three exhibition trial runs at their practice facility in Brooklyn (the "Crash Pad"), and once for an informal half-length challenge bout at this year’s ECDX in Pennsylvania. In between, the team’s 15 skaters, especially captains Slamsbury and Arson Tina, learned what it took to put together a team and run it smoothly.
“Arson and I have never captained a team before, so we were both like ‘what do we do now?’” laughs Slams. “Okay, we have to run practices, there are all these things we have to figure out, we have to make sure people make attendance and they can play... We’re real excited about it, and it’s so much more work than we thought, but it’s been great so far.”
And while the GGRD All-Stars are a worldwide juggernaut preparing to defend their WFTDA title next month and the Traitors are three-time New York State champs that are better than many leagues’ A-teams, the Terminators had to figure out just what their skaters wanted from the travel team experience.
“Everyone on the team had different expectations,” said Slams. “There were people who wanted to be a super competitive team because they wanted to one day make it onto the Traitors or the All-Stars, and there were people who wanted more of a laid back, fun team, so we tried to kind of split the difference. It was very difficult trying to gauge where everybody wanted to go with it and pick the best route for us. And we got it started kind of late [in the season], so that was a challenge too. Everybody had to step out of their comfort zones to play on this team, which has been great.”
Nikki Nightrain (Brooklyn) and Angela Slamsbury (Manhattan) battled against each other earlier this month in the league championship. Saturday, they work together as Terminators against Chicago. Photo: Sean Hale
That may be the biggest benefit for the skaters taking to the track for the team on Saturday. On teams with longtime veterans ahead of newcomers, or defined roles that have lasted for several seasons, sometimes blockers can’t be jammers, and vice versa. On the Terminators, there’s an intriguing mix of vets, former All-Stars, league championship team members, and rookies, and as Slams points out, you may not recognize them in their new roles.
“The great thing about this team is that there are all these players on Gotham who are really talented, but sometimes they don’t really get a chance to shine when they play on their home teams,” she said. “So this is really a time where people get to play roles that they don’t really get to play on their home teams. So you’ll see people jamming that you’ve never seen jam before. Ames to Maim has doing a lot of jamming for us and she’s been doing a fantastic job. Nikki Nightrain, who usually jams for Brooklyn, she’s been pivoting and blocking a lot for us and really flourishing in that role, so it will be very exciting. People will recognize the faces, but they’ll be seeing them do things they’ve never seen them do before.”
Rushin' Revolution (Bronx) and Veronica Ache (Manhattan) will be forming walls together as Terminators on Saturday. Photo: Tom Igoe
Among the recognizable faces on the squad are Brooklyn veteran Raggedy Animal, Bronx Gridlock fan favorite Luna Impact, and the aforementioned rookie sensation for the Bombshells, Nightrain. The night will also be a bittersweet one, as Luna, Brooklyn’s nameLes, and Queens’ Splint Her will be playing for the final time before retirement from the league. But regardless of what happens after this weekend, everyone on this team is prepared to leave it all on the track. The apprenticeship is over. Let the games begin.
“I think we’re very ready,” said Slams. “We’ve been getting a lot of practice time lately, and since the league championship is over, they’ve shifted the focus of the scrimmages we have at the Crash Pad every week. Instead of home teams scrimmaging each other, it’s been Traitors vs. Terminators or All-Stars vs. Terminators. We played a scrimmage against Pottstown Roller Derby last weekend, and we did really well. We beat them by a fairly good margin, but they weren’t an easy team. The first half was pretty difficult and we were going to the box a lot, and then we really adjusted in the second half and did really well, and I think that helped pull us together. So I think we’re ready for Saturday.”
But what about the million dollar question? Does Slams, fresh off a title-winning effort with the Manhattan Mayhem earlier this month, think there will be any butterflies in the stomach for her and her cohorts?
“Definitely,” she laughs. “We’ve had a great time playing, but it’s definitely different doing it at Crash Pad versus being in CCNY. So I think everyone will have some butterflies. We’re making Gotham history with this being the first ever public home bout for the Terminators, and I think everyone is excited and it will go great. I think we’re gonna win.”
Without further ado, Saturday's Grand Central Terminators:
Angela Slamsbury (co-captain) (Manhattan)
Arson Tina (co-captain) (Bronx)
Ames to Maim (Manhattan)
Anais Ninja (Queens)
The Beirut Bombshell (Queens)
Luna Impact (Bronx)
Nikki Nightrain (Brooklyn)
Raggedy Animal (Brooklyn)
Rushin' Revolution (Bronx)
Splint Her (Queens)
Sunshine Skate (Manhattan)
Tough Muffin (Bronx)
Veronica Ache (Manhattan)