2012 Team Preview: Smoke City Betties

2012 Smoke City Betties

  Wins Losses +/- Notes
2011 Regular Season 0 3 - 170 Fourth Place for second straight year.
2011 Playoffs - - - Did not qualify for playoffs.

2011

When a team goes 0-3 on the season (throw in a two-and-done at the Beast of the East on top of that) and doesn’t manage to score more than 63 points in a bout, it’s hard to say that team had a successful year. Yet that is exactly what could be said about the Smoke City Betties.

The Betties ended 2011 on a high note with an exhibition win over the Hamilton Harlots. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

It’s been a tumultuous few season for the Betties since an appearance in Battle for the Boot 3 in 2009. After that great early ToRD team burst apart, twelve rookies stepped onto the track for the team in 2010. The results were what one would expect. That year the Betties had an average margin of loss of a staggering 191 points. Within one season (only two more rookies were added for 2011) the team managed to orchestrate a nearly complete turnaround, more than halving that average to 77 points. On top of that, they found success outside of ToRD, pulling off a nail biter in Ottawa over the Riot Squad and closing out 2012 with a confidence-boosting win over the Hamilton Harlots 164-75 in October. Despite the last place finish for the second consecutive season, these Betties have a lot to look forward to.

Five-year skater Pretty Peeved called it a career in 2011. (Photo by Joe Mac)

LOSSES AND GAINS

The Betties are truly nearing the end of the team’s rebuild with Memphis Kitty and Hot Roller the only remaining skaters on the roster from that great 2009 team, and this off season saw the retirement of two more vets along with the stepping aside of two sophomore skaters. Five-year vet Pretty Peeved, who began her career as a Bruiser, emerged as a post-2009 leader on the track and was a key pivot for the Betties during the last two seasons. The Betties also lost Lacy Brawler from the pack; the skater who was one of the leaders of the team in track time in 2010 saw that number dip in 2011. P. Doddy and Diva Zapata, two of the twelve 2010 rookies also hung up their skates in the off season, leaving four spaces open on the roster.

Rookie Renny Rumble (#1205) has the potential to contribute right away. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

2012’s draft was easily the deepest yet, and the Betties filled out their roster nicely. Two of the more experienced draftees, Laya Beaton and Renny Rumble, seem to be the most track-ready perhaps of the whole draft. Renny was a dominant skater for the D-VAS in 2011, proving to be a triple threat, excelling at all positions. Laya Beaton was a force on the track who had exhibited some penalty problems early in the year but seemed to clean up as the season went on. Slaptrick Swayze and General Patten are less experienced, but also show a ton of potential. Swayze is a calm, collected presence and positionally focused, key on the track for a team still finding itself, while Patten is a life-long skater who is certainly someone to watch for as her track-sense and knowledge of the game increases.

Both BruiseBerry Pie (left) and Tropic Thunder will be key multi-position players this season. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

BY POSITION

The Betties also picked up a new bench manager this season, plucking former D-VAS Raunchy Hextall (whose injury problems led to her retirement from competition) to run the bench, hopefully filling a hole that has been a constant gap for the team. Misery Mae and titmouse are co-captains for the 2012 Smoke City Betties, and will bring a fresh perspective to the team leadership role.

Pivot:  Pretty Peeved led the way with the stripe in 2011, sharing duties especially with Hot Roller and BruiseBerry Pie. Lady Scorcher and Mia Culprit also pivoted in 2011 and with their experience will undoubtedly be called upon to make up the gap this season. Misery Mae, who had a standout rookie year in 2011 has also shown a confidence to lead the packs and could be a key component of the team in 2012 and moving forward.

Second-year skater Rug Burn will be a key part of a deep jammer rotation. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Blocker: The Betties have slowly developed a very balanced pack. Led by the versatile Mia Culprit, the Betties can hit hard with the likes of Sin D Drop-Her and Laya Beaton, but also have positionally sound blockers in Tropic Thunder and Mouth of the South. Grim Avenger, who slipped into a bit of sophomore slump last season, seems on the cusp of becoming a core component of the pack, while for Geniune Risk, another third-year skater, this third year could be the year she steps up as well. But with a year of D-VAS experience under their belts, don’t count out Swazye and Renny Rumble as key contributors this season as well.

Jammer: With primary pack skaters like BruiseBerry Pie and Tropic Thunder able to jam when needed, the Betties have slowly developed a deep rotation of jammers. Led by Memphis Kitty and titmouse, who were the busiest jammers in 2011, rookie Rug Burn was a standout first-year skater last year and Platinum Bomb is growing into the role, while Sail Her Poon (who is a potential triple threat) and Wolverina (who is making her much anticipated return to the track in 2012) fill out the growing stable of jammers. On top of that, rookie General Patten looks like a key candidate to join this deepening rotation.

Along with the Dolls vs. Betties showdown, CN Power will also be hosting Roc City in a WFTDA bout.

EXPECTATIONS

Expectations for the Betties grow each year and in 2012 they have reached a new height. In many ways, on the track this team resembles the Smoke City Betties of 2008: a team loaded with talent that seems on the verge of bringing it all together but may not quite be there yet. That 2008 team would lose in the semi-finals to the Gore-Gore Rollergirls, but would appear in the championship game just one-year later. While it may be a bit much to think this team capable of challenging for the Boot this year, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise if this year’s team competes with the Death Track Dolls for that final playoff spot, a battle that will begin at the season opener for the two teams.

2011 STATS HIGHLIGHTS

  • BruiseBerry Pie was a triple threat in 2011, appearing in 60% of her team’s jams spread out over the three positions. At 49% and 48% respectively, Lady Scorcher and Pretty Peeved  were also hovering around that 50% mark. Memphis Kitty was the busiest jammer (33% with the star) with titmouse right behind her (28%).
  • BruiseBerry Pie led most blocking categories for the team including blocks (with Mia Culprit and Pretty Peeved just behind her), knockdowns (Mia again in second) and assists.
  • Memphis Kitty led the team in scoring with 68 points (1.66 points per jam).
  • BruiseBerry Pie also racked up the most penalty minutes (but with 8 for 75 jams, it was not as bad a percentage as it seems). Lady Scorcher had a remarkably clean year, sitting only one minute in the box despite being on the track for 61 jams over three games.

**The Betties kick off 2012 with a showdown against the Dolls at the Bunker in Downsview Park. CN Power will be hosting Roc City (Rochester, NY) in a WFTDA sanctioned bout to kick off the double header. Doors open a 5:00PM. Tickets available online and at select locations.

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