Mar 2011 210

Columbia QuadSquad Rolls Again

by: James Harley

It must be tough to be a derby girl in South Carolina and not play for the Columbia Quad Squad. It’s not that there aren’t capable athletes on the other area teams, but face it, the CQS is freakishly good, earning every bit of the lavish praise that must sound tiresome to their competitors by now.

The Squad continued its run of regional dominance last weekend, mercilessly slaughtering the Greenville Derby Dames 166-67 in a home bout at Columbia’s Jamil Temple. I say it was merciless, but actually the near-100-point win was the result of letting up on the visitors by giving some of the current backup players significant track-time once the writing was on the wall. But suffice it to say the outcome was already quite clear when the score hit 46-1 midway through the first half. Ouch.

Quad Squad jammers (these are the scorers) Mel Anoma and Crystal Cutt carried their weight as always, but there is little doubt that the core of this team’s success is the overall skating prowess of Holly Hunter. Once the most graceful and slippery jammer in the region, the former roller-figure-skating champion switched to blocker and her value has only increased, taking out opposing blockers with hips that strike their target like heat-seeking missiles, clearing the way for the jammers to run amok over the ruins.

But the Quad Squad’s talent list and success isn’t just demoralizing to their opposition, it is now actually weakening it further on the practical level and thereby widening the gulf even further. With the goal of becoming an official WFTDA member team (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association) and being the only team in the state with legitimate credentials to do so at this point, it seems that playing for the Squad is fast becoming the goal of nearly every truly ambitious and skilled rollergirl around. Basically, if you want to make it from Columbia to the top in the derby scene, it has become clear that making this team is your best bet.

To this end, the CQS has recently picked up several talented players from the Richland County Regulators, including team leader Truckstop, as well as top-notch jammer Grafik from Greenville’s URGE team (Upstate Roller Girl Evolution). Grafik, long-striding and lanky, was an essential part of this week’s victory, bringing added power to the Quad Squad’s already lightning-fast jammer line-up.

Far from resting on their well-deserved laurels, the Quad Squad is continuing to improve and to fight for their spot in the big leagues by scheduling even tougher opponents outside the region. The real litmus test will come in July when the Texas Rollergirls, the originators of modern flat track derby, visit Columbia. While upcoming bouts with the Tallahassee Rollergirls and the Black-n-Bluegrass Rollergirls of Kentucky are likely to keep the CQS’s two-year winning streak alive, you can be sure the Texas girls will not roll over for them in what is shaping up to be the biggest match in the Quad Squad’s history.

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