D2 playoffs were held nearly three weeks ago in Killamazoo MI and our CRG All-Stars had an action packed weekend!

CRG played in 4 games over the three day weekend and took away a 7th place finish. We had some exciting games that were very competitive and -as anyone who watched from home can tell you- CRG played with a ton of heart. Every skater played well, but one All Star stood out with some outstanding performances and nail biting key plays.

We caught up with #75, Sheeza Freak and here is what she had to say about her D2 experience:

How did you feel going into Division 2 playoffs? Were you excited or nervous?

SF:Going into D2 playoffs I felt very excited. We’ve had a tough schedule thus far in 2013 so I was anxious to see how we performed bouting against teams closer to our current ranking. CRG lost 10 of the starting 14 All Stars so for a lot of us this was our first time skating in a tournament of this nature.

What did you think CRG’s biggest challenge would be going into that weekend? Biggest strength?

SF:I thought our biggest challenge would be controlling the game speed and staying out of the box. CRG is known as a faster more aggressive type team and nowadays slow derby is how you win games. I hate it but in order to get into the playoffs you have to win so we had to play the game that way. Our biggest strength is our ability to play smart derby. Blocker awareness was outstanding during playoffs. Causing jammer cuts and putting us in a power jam situation, that we took full advantage of, helped our team bring home 2 big playoff wins.

CRG had some very exciting games and very exciting moments in those games- what would you say was your favorite moment over the course of the weekend? What would you say was the lowest point?

 SF:The most exciting moment to me was winning the Suburbia game by 1pt in the final jam. We were down by 18pts with less than a minute left on the game clock and coach DFG (Doctor Feelgood) handed me the star. I calmly took the line looked at my blockers and said “alright you guys know what you got to do, get that power jam”. I was only focused on getting lead jammer. That was a must. Then as I was coming out of turn two I heard the long whistle and a bunch of cheers. I knew pretty quickly that we had a power jam since I was still on the track and our bench was cheering. I immediately felt extremely nervous and a small part of me wanted to just skate off the track. I always feared being the jammer that had to score the winning points for the team so my biggest fear was becoming reality. I went into “OMG- we -could -win -this” game mode. I just have to play smart and clean. My awesome blockers kept it slow which allowed me to score quickly. I ended the jam at 230 – 229, hoping the scoring was correct and that I hadn’t called it off too early. When the ref finally made that the official final score we all broke into cheers and tears. I was an amazing feeling to help bring home the win for the first time in 7 games.

The lowest point for me was a few short hours later during our 3rd game of the playoffs. I took a hard hit on my left side, felt a pop in my right knee and hit the floor. I knew immediately that I wouldn’t be getting back up this time. Until this point I haven’t had to sit on the sidelines injured. Watching my team struggle through a hard fought game and not being able to help is a feeling that I don’t wish on my worst enemy.

CRG played some of the best games of the season during playoffs- taking that momentum into next year what do you see in store for the 2014 CRG All Stars?

 SF: CRG has been around for almost 10yrs but our team this year is very young experience wise. We have some players coming back that have been on leave and our captains have done a wonderful job building up the bench over the past year. It will be a big advantage to have that experience going into 2014. Our numbers are up and there are a lot of skaters hungry and willing to do the extra work to make the CRG All Star game roster. I feel like the team will be in a good position to remain in playoff contention next year.

Finally, if you could sum up the 2013 playoff experience for CRG in one word, what would it be?

 SF:If I could sum up the 2013 playoff experience for CRG in one word it would have to be pride.  There is a tremendous amount of pride you feel when putting on a CRG jersey and sharing the track with 13 of your teammates and battling against another 14 that are ready to crush you on the track. We all play for different reasons and all have different goals but one thing remains. We all love CRG and the sport of roller derby. Sometimes you forget that there are 30 (ish) other CRG skaters that see you as a hero and would give anything to be there playing instead of watching at home. There are even more teams that will never make it to a playoff game. CRG has been a big part of the new age roller derby and each past, present and future skater contributes to their success. I’ve never been so proud to be a member of this league and look forward to continuing to contribute in the coming years.

 

Contributed by: Lil Rosie Rotten

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