Crescent City Crushers
It is not difficult to conclude that everything that happens in the future will be shaped mainly by what the youth of today’s world learn from their mentors. And if that is something the young person is passionate about, it has a greater chance of success. If you couple that passion with the saying, “Everything begins with an idea,” you will find it was just such a spark of an idea that brought a New Orleans JRDA League the Crescent City Crushers to life.
In the 2017 season of the Big Easy Roller Girls, a young lady was watching the game’s action. She had come to most of the games that season. During one particular game, the program in hand, she was cheering for the players by their Derby names. One of the players in the game, Twisted Steele, came and sat by the young lady and asked if she knew one of the skaters. The young lady replied, “NO, BUT THIS IS AWESOME! The young lady didn’t know it at the time, but with one question, she would later become skater MarMar Binx. Twisted Steele turned to the young lady’s mother and asked, “How would you feel about starting a junior league.” Steele didn’t know it at the time, but she would later become one of the coaches of the JRDA team.
Ice Wolf, also known as Crystal Lee Hayes
The league started small, with a few park meet-ups to gain some numbers, then most structured practices started at Crescent Park off the Mississippi River. We officially became the Crescent City Crushers with the state of Louisiana in June of 2018. Our inaugural season of practicing in the same warehouse space as the Big Easy Rollergirls and the New Orleans Brass Men’s roller derby started in the fall of 2018.
The Crushers continued organized practices and grew as a team during 2019.
We promote all teams together when recruiting, so we are pretty much family inclusive. Now we have four dedicated coaches Twisted Steele (Active Allstar skater for BERG), Shred Beans And Rice (Alumni skater for BERG), Blu Belle (Alumni skater for BERG), and Ice Wolf (Active Allstar skater for BERG and bench coach for BRASS). The Crushers currently have a full level 3 competitive roster, with Rile Lee Coyote #899, one of the only original skaters other than MarMar Binx and Blonde Bomber #28, filling the captains’ positions. Our league as a whole consists of 30 skaters ranging from 6 to 16 years old.” The Team was working hard to be competitive in the 2019-2020 season. They set their sites on the Clover Cup in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Ice Wolf said, “These kids were ready to be the Center of Derby south by making their debut.
Everything was looking good for the Crushers until the World as a whole started to turn upside down.
Since Covid-19 became a very real issue for the U.S. population our team has seen some serious disappointments. We had our season scheduled alongside BERG and Brass at the UNO Lakefront Arena, all of which have been canceled. But the biggest disappointment was Clover Cup. It was supposed to be our debut as a team competing for JRDA ranking and our first real taste of level 3 gameplay for most of our skaters. We had trained so hard and prepared to go into battle together. Little did we know our team would be battling State mandated “Stay-at-Home” orders to try and minimize the spread of Covid-19. New Orleans had become a hotbed for the spread of the virus.
On April 2nd, 2020 Louisiana confirmed a massive 42% spike in confirmed Covid-19 cases bringing the statewide count over 9,100. This generation hasn’t seen the hardships that New Orleans has faced in the past but their strength is no less than that of their parents. Through these tough times, technology has been on their side. The team camaraderie has persevered in spite of self-isolation and the meek outlook for the future. The app Zoom has allowed us to continue to practice social distancing but still hone our skills through virtual practices. HouseParty is another app the teams’ skaters frequent lets the skaters feel like they’re hanging out in the same room even though the chances of that happening now are nonexistent. Online gaming via XBox and PlayStation has also been a way of continuing the togetherness from a distance.
Though obstacles have been put in our path, we’re still a team, but most of all still a family. Phone calls are still being made to check in on each other, emails are still being sent to set practice times and text messages are in high abundance. The Crescent City Crushers may be young but the spirit and strength of New Orleans still runs through their veins and here in NOLA we skate through hell and high water….. even if it has to be 10 feet of distance.
Like what we do? Consider chipping in a few bucks.