2013 saw lots of action from all of the Men's Roller Derby teams in Scotland, who represent the main regional areas of the country. And in June 2013, our National Team - The Power of Scotland - was formed. But the team who brought Men's Derby to Scotland have also had a busy year: The Jakey Bites have continued to bout all over the UK.
WK Deid summarises The Jakey Bites past year by telling us, "The first half of the 2013 saw some new faces in our team line-up, and some old ones disappear. The second half of the year brought with it our first victory in an open bout (against Team Steve), in July. Our first win was closely followed by two more against Super Smash Brollers and Barrow Infernos later in the year. We took part in the second ever Men’s European Roller Derby Championships (we were the only Scottish team in the tournament!), and we closed the year by hosting our own SUR5AL tournament in December".
WK Deid shares the highlights from their very busy 2013, and how the team have grown.
1. The Jakey Bites have seen a lot of changes to their roster over the last year. Can you introduce us to the new skaters that joined The Jakeys in 2013?
There have been a few new faces in our line ups this year, and unfortunately some people have left our ranks as well. The new names people will have seen on the track last year were rEd Barron, iHorror, Allota Blacken Blue and Deathworm Jim. We also drafted in The Real Scrim Shady to fill a last minute gap in line ups when we had our co-ed bout with FVRG.
2. When we spoke to Duff in last year's interview, the regional mens' teams had only just appeared on the scene. What is the relationship like between The Jakey's and these teams? How has their appearance impacted what you do?
When The Jakeys started, one of our original goals was to bring the men in Scotland who were interested in playing derby together - and then increase the numbers interested - so Scottish Men's Derby could start to build up from there. As for our relationship with the leagues, all of the current Jakeys (and some former Jakeys) skate with, or are associated with, one of the regional men's leagues. This helps bring the regional leagues a bit closer together.
The appearance of the regional leagues has meant more training and more derby for us all, which is a great. We also get to skate with different and new people at our respective regional leagues and help to train them up. There hasn't been much of an impact on what we do so far, but once all the regional league’s start bouting more I think thats when we will see it happen.
3. In 2013, an official National Team - The Power of Scotland - was established. Are you concerned that you may not get as many bouting opportunites now, as the 'unofficial' national team? Are many of The Jakey's on the Power of Scotland roster?
Believe it or not, all of the current Jakeys who were eligible to try-out for Power of Scotland were lucky enough to make the team! This obviously means that we will all be continuing to bout together, which is great, but there is that possibility that there will be less bouting opportunities as The Jakeys for a while. Hopefully in the long run this won't be a problem and we can continue on. You never know, perhaps we may even see some of the other POS skaters joining The Jakeys ranks.
4. What would you consider as The Jakeys biggest achievement in 2013?
It’s really is hard to pick just one thing from 2013 that stands out for us as there were so many things. There was hosting Scotland's first all Men's Headline Bout, and also holding Scotland's first Men’s vs Women's bout (The Jakey Bites vs. Team Steve).
We won our first bout (and went on to win 2 more by the end of the year). We also travelled down to Birmingham to compete in the Men’s European Roller Derby Championships and made it through to a semi-final!
I think though a lot of The Jakeys would pick our last bout of 2013 against Barrow Infernos as a high point of the year as it was our first full length bout win against a mens team. It was a hard fought game from beginning to end in which we only played with 10 skaters the whole time.
2013 Bout Fixtures & SummariesWK Deid has kindly supplied a summary of each of The Jakey Bites' bouts in 2013, in case you missed them.
06/04/2013: The Jakey Bites (126) vs. South Wales Silures (300)
This was The Silures first public bout, although they had played in many scrims and some of their players were in The Expendables at last years MERDC. Although The Jakey's took the lead in the first few jams, The Silures fought hard and swung the lead round in their favour. The Silures took full advantage of The Jakeys' trips to the penalty box and racked up the points. In the end, they took the victory of the first Men's Roller Derby headline bout in Scotland.
06/07/2013: The Jakey Bites (177) vs. Team Steve (92)
For those of you who haven't heard of Team Steve before (where have you been hiding?), they are an exhibition team made up of skaters who didn't make it into the final cut of Team Scotland for the World Cup in 2011. Co-ed roller derby had been played before in Scotland, but this was the first time that an all-boys team faced off against an all-girls team.
From the first whistle, the girls didn't hold back and neither did we. We took a small lead which we maintained the first half. During the second half, we pulled out a bigger gap, but in the last quarter of the bout, Team Steve took advantage of our tiring team and started to close the gap. On the final whistle we took the victory - which was not only our first win - but the first win for any Scottish Men's team.
13/07/2013: Of Fights and Men (115) vs. The Jakey Tayzers (185)
Granite City Roller Girls approached us to play in a Co Ed bout, so we fielded some of our own skaters to join GCRG and lined them up against our Jakey/ Dundee Roller Girls team - The Jakey Tayzers.
We saw this bout was as an opportunity to help us prepare for MERDC - and also to be a bit of fun - but neither side wanted to lose. The first half, and much of the second, saw a few lead changes, but The Jakey Tayzers managed to take advantage of a couple of power jams, letting them pull out in front and win the game.
20/07/2013: MERDC (Men’s European Roller Derby Championships)
Last year we had wanted to play at MERDC, but unfortunately we were unable to get a team together in time. In 2013, we made it or goal to play at MERDC if our application was accepted. It was - and we made it onto the list of the 16 teams who would compete in the tournament. The majority of the teams were from England, with three from France, one from Wales, and ourselves from Scotland.
We had prepared hard for the tournament with scrims and bouts every on the run up. We knew we were in for a very tough first game since the organisers announced who everyones first opponents were a few weeks before the tournament.
MERDC BOUT 1: New Wheeled Order (151) vs. The Jakey Bites (40)
Winning against NWO was always going to be a tall order but we believed that we had a chance and put together a plan. Unfortunately, as hard as we tried and played, NWO were just too strong and their walls were so solid that our jammers struggled to make it through them. We did try to fight back near the end but the damage was done and NWO took the win.
MERDC BOUT 2: The Jakey Bites (105) vs. Super Smash Brollers (63)
This was the game that we secretly hoped we would get to play when we saw the sneak preview of the tournament's opening games. The reason being that a former Jakey - Danimal - had moved down south and joined Super Smash Brollers! But playing this game meant we would have lost our first bout.
We went into this game knowing we had a good chance of taking the win, but from the first whistle, the Brollers put up a very fierce fight. For a while it looked like it was anyone's game to take until the Brollers racked up the fouls. With so many bin trips, we took advantage of the extra skaters on track and started to put in the points to take the win - our first against a men's team!
MERDC BOUT 3: Panam Squad (114) vs. The Jakey Bites (25)
Both ourselves and Panam didn't know much if anything about each other before this game but spirits were high with both teams chatting, laughing, and wishing each other luck before the first whistle.
We managed to take an early lead, even though Panam were playing hard. But soon after Panam found their rhythm and really dug in giving us all manor of problems. They soon took the lead and after a couple of power jams later they were comfortable in control. The final whistle ended our time at MERDC, but both teams who had beaten us that day (NWO & Panam) each went on to pick up trophies: Panam won the Plate Final in their next match, and NWO won the Bowl in theirs.
10/08/2013: The Violent Jakeys (147) vs. The Parma Bites (277)
After the success of our team up with DRG last year and then GCRG last month it was the turn of FVRG to get into some Co-Ed action. The first half of this bout was a very close, with nothing in it between the two teams. At half time the scores sat at 83 - 109 to the Parma Bites, with it anyone's game to win.
The second half started with The Violent Jakeys taking advantage of the first few jams and the game really heated up. It wasn't until the last 10/15 minutes of the game and with some power jams that the Parma Bites managed to build up a big points gap over the Violent Jakeys. At the final whistle the score stood at 147 - 277 to the Parma Bites.
02/11/2013: The Jakey Bites (199) vs. Barrow Infernos (121)
This was our last bout of 2013 and one we really wanted to win to finish the year on a high. Unfortunately for us, we had a few injuries on the run up to this (WKDeid, Duff and iHorror), but Duff and WK Deid managed to get back on skates the week before and got back to training.
Our roster on the day only had 10 skaters to Barrows 14 and we knew from their bout against Mean City the previous month that they had progressed a lot since playing against The Skelpies earlier in the year. They were big guys and heavy hitters but we believed that even with less numbers we could fight for the win.
It was a hard fought game from the start, with both sides skating very fast and hitting hard. We pulled together and worked as a team each jam, keeping our heads clear and concentrating on the job in hand. Which helped us lead the score the whole of the first half apart from a couple of jams half way through. The second half swung more our way with a few more power jams that helped us build up more of a lead. but throughout we stood firm worked together and played as a team to take the victory, which was our and Scotland's first Men's Derby Home win against a men's team, at long last.
SUR5AL 2013 Tournament
Last year we held a SUR5AL tournament to say thank you to all the leagues that had helped us during our first year. We asked for 8 teams of 3 girls to sign up and each were given 2 Jakeys chosen at random. This year we wanted to host another one and make it a bit bigger. We asked for 20 teams to sign up, made up of a combination of 3 females and 2 males.
On the run up to the event we had some teams pull out and we were left with just 16 so we changed the format of the event. It was organised into 4 group stages, with 4 teams in each group. The team with the most wins at the end of the group would go through to the semi final.
We had teams not only from Scotland but a couple from England came up to take part as well. Unlike last time we also opened up the event to the public to come and watch, with all door takings going to the winning teams charity of choice. At the end of the day team Lamb 2.0 who emerged victorious but more than that everyone had a great day and there was a great atmosphere throughout the whole event as skaters from all over Scotland had travelled to take part.