Photo by Lynne Graves Photography
Four wins in two days. That’s what the WMDs will be striving for this weekend when they take to the track at a Worcester tournament—and head home in between to play for fans.
As she was preparing for the weekend’s quadruple whammy—three bouts at New England’s All 8 on the Floor, hosted by WoRD, and a Florence Fightin’ Gals vs. Quabbin Missile Crisis home bout—Celia Casket, WMDs co-captain with Pink Panzer, took a moment to sit down with teammate Slam Dinista and talk about New England competition, showcasing new players, and the possibility that the WMDs could have their first-ever tournament win.**
SD: What makes this weekend unusual?
CC: Well, it’s going to be the first tournament that the WMDs ever played in, to my knowledge, which is pretty awesome. They’ve played at ECDX and at Spring Roll, but they haven’t been eligible for winning a tournament. They’ve just been in side games, or what they call “challenge bouts.” This is the first time that they will be eligible to compete and win at a tournament themselves.**
SD: What makes All 8 On the Floor special as a tournament?
CC: It’s mainly comprised of non-WFTDA teams, or teams that are not fully fledged WFTDA members. It is more of a B-team focus tournament, but it was initiated as a tournament for all of these teams that wanted to compete with each other, but weren’t officially part of WFTDA and couldn’t do that in any formal sense. So, this is the first time these teams get to compete in a formal sense at a tournament.
SD: What’s the difficulty of being a non-WFTDA team?
CC: As a non-WFTDA team, you don’t get ranked nationally, so it’s hard to know where you are among your competitors in your region. I think this tournament will give us a good baseline of where we are in terms of our competitiveness, we’ll know where we stand among the other New England teams, and that will be kind of a nice thing to know. We’ll be playing a bunch of teams we’ve never played before, so that will be cool.
SD: As a co-captain, why did you want to do this tournament in particular?
CC: This is a good tournament for us to both get an idea of our competitiveness and also to be able to compete at the level I think we’re currently at. Our skaters really want that competitive edge, and to be able to feel part of the derby community and to be able to compete in a formal sense. So, when this opportunity arose, I think it was kind of ideal for us.
SD: What were the challenges of scheduling it on Aug. 4?
CC: Well, we had already previously agreed to have a home bout, which is why this weekend the ladies of the WMDs will skate in two bouts on Saturday (one at the tournament and then a home game), and then two more in Worcester on Sunday.
SD: What should the fans expect when they come to the home bout on Saturday?
CC: I think the fans should expect a good competitive game between the two home teams, but also expect for our newer skaters to be showcased. Those are the ones that are going to end up getting a lot of playing time. It seems only fair, right? The WMDs are going to get a hella lot of playing time. Expect lots of new jammers!
SD: What will you be telling your team as they go into this weekend?
CC: I think the important thing to remember going into this weekend is that we’ve been preparing for this all season. The WMDs have been doing a lot of extra practices and are very focused on lateral movement and working together as a team. It’s just carrying it forward and really having fun this weekend, not taking it too seriously and just playing as hard as we can together.
SD: What do you hope to be able to say about the tournament this weekend?
CC: My biggest hope is that no matter where we end up in the tournament, that the WMDs walk away from it feeling that it was a success. And I hope their evaluation of that success is how they played as a team, how they feel about each other as a team, and less how they feel about their own individual play.
**7/31 From PVRD co-director Bazooka Joe: For the record, the WMDs were perfectly eligible to win their division at Spring Roll. They were in a 4 team ‘tournament’. They placed third.