The Road to Champs

Published on: 03 December 2017
By riversiderebelsadmin

The Road to Champs The Rebels has always been a small team, but we describe ourselves as small and mighty. In 2016 we made the decision to enter the British Championships. Our aim was really simple, show up, play our games and have fun. Our journey to our first Champs wasn’t always an easy one, but we watched our newer skaters blossom into fearsome blockers and jukey jammers, and all of our skaters gel into an unstoppable force. The first matchday of our tier we were scheduled on a rest game, giving us a chance to size up the opposition and decide on some of our goals for our first official match. We watched our opposition play an incredible game, winning by a massive 271 points! So our target for the first game was to have a lower score differential than this. Our first game came around, we travelled as team down to Leicester, squeezing with kit and all into our little minibus.

We arrived at the venue and started to get ourselves kitted up, with the nerves starting to kick in. Our pre-game team pep talk was the same as it always is, go out and have fun. We really believe that no matter what the score, if you are having fun that’s all that matters. So with that in mind, we got out on track and started to do our thing. With a small team it means we spend more time on track in each game, and sometimes do multiple jams in a row. Road Runner, one of our jammers, started out on the jam line. First whistle goes and she is straight though for lead jammer, and then called the jam perfectly for a clean sheet. She then stayed on for our second jam (much to the shock of our opposition) and did the same again. Rebels 6 – Leicester 0! Far better than we could ever have hoped for. We battled hard in the first half, and held Leicester to a draw at half time.

In the second half we suffered from some skate malfunctions, minor heat stroke and a couple of heavy hits, meaning our score started to slip. But even through all of this, our smiles didn’t! We were dancing on the jam line during official reviews, screaming and cheering each other on from the bench when we weren’t on track and just constantly having fun. While we didn’t win the game, we exceeded our own goals, and in the end the final differential was only 60 points. Now we had found our flow, the rest of our games flew by. The first game was the only one we lost, with comfortable victories for our next two games. Our opposition always commented on how fun we were, and our constant stream of jokes and laughter even managed to crack a few smiles from the officials! Our final game of the tier was a battle for second place, with both Rebels and Cheshire Hellcats on equal points and similar point differentials. The winner of this game would be crowned runners up in the tier. Each jam was closely fought, with the score chopping and changing between teams.

A last minute power jam against the Hellcats opened up the lead, and as we went into the final jam their jammer was sent to the bin for a penalty. I was on the bench at this point, and as we realised what had happened we knew that all we needed to do was skate clean, get lead, run the clock and call it. It was so hard to watch, but there was no need to have any doubt at all. Our blockers cleared a beautiful line and our jammer sailed through for lead. We started cheering (and maybe crying!) at the bench… as soon as the whistle blew everything went crazy. There was screaming and tears and so many hugs. We had wanted to show up and have fun, coming second in the tier was an incredible tier on top of an already amazing cake!!! So now we are in 2018, and getting ready for our next round of champs. We will be facing some familiar teams, and also some newer teams to the tier. We have been training hard and working on improving our walls, endurance and general awesomeness. So now as training starts to ramp up and champs get even closer, the excitement levels are building up as well! Can’t wait to start our games again, and host our first game on the weekend of 17th/18th March (final date TBC) but we would love to see you there!

Loki

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