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Misfits edge Queens in derby overtime thriller

Misfits edge Queens in derby overtime thriller
Copper City Queens star Meradith "Magadeth" LaFond breaks through as the lead jammer during Friday night's bout with the Flathead Valley Misfits at the Butte Civic Center. (Bill Foley photo)

By Bill Foley

As the second half of Friday night’s “High Five Her Face Smackdown” at the Butte Civic Center was about to begin, a couple of young girls ran down the steps, heading to the hallway.

They were heading to the concession stand or maybe just to run around and play.

One girl suddenly stopped and yelled for her friend to come back up the stairs.

“It’s Megadeth,” the young girl yelled as she pointed to the scoreboard that showed that Butte’s Meredith “Megadeath” LaFond was lined up to wear the star for the first jam of the second half. “We HAVE to watch Megadeth.”

While the hometown Copper City Queens came up one point short in a thrilling 140-139 overtime loss to the Flathead Valley Misfits, roller derby is still hit in the Mining City.

A crowd of around 500 came out for the bout as the Queens celebrated five years of roller derby in Butte.

“We had a really good turnout,” LaFond said between pictures and high fives with her fans following the rough-and-tumble bout. “I love it when we have a big crowd.”

LaFond was the high point scorer for the Queens, who overcame a 20-point deficit to take a late lead in the bout that saw 59 jams before one exhausting overtime jam.

A jam lasts two minutes or until the lead jammer declares the jam over. Time does not run out in a half until a jam has ended, even if the clock hits zero.

Flathead Valley outscored the Queens 12-4 in a full jam to end regulation, sending the bout tied to overtime tied at 124.

LaFond put on the star as the jammer for Butte for the overtime battle. The Misfits sent out top jammer “The Grand Chawhee.” (Note: real names for the Misfits were not available.)

When the dust settled in overtime, and both teams hunched over in exhaustion, the Misfits had one more point.

Both teams, though, mustered enough energy for a lap around the track to high five the approving fans.

“Oh, I’m so tired,” LaFond said. “That last jam in overtime goes the full 2 minutes. It’s brutal. It’s like boxing, I think.”

Of course, LaFond is OK with that. Even though she said she shied away from basketball in high school because she didn’t like contact sports, “Megadeth” has no problem laying the wood in roller derby.

While some skaters try to skinny by or dodge blockers, LaFond prefers to run them over.

“I definitely love the bulldozing,” she said. “When someone has their back to you, there’s only a certain area you can hit, like an engagement zone. But, when they have their front to you, they’re free game. Especially when I’ve made it through the pack, when I come up to someone and they’re facing me, I just plow them over. That’s my whole goal, knocking them on their butt. That’s my favorite.”

LaFond, Sophia “Sockher Blue” Macik, Cami “Miss Conduct” Williams, Lantana “Charlie Horse” Clark and Chelsea “B.O.B.” Lund also impressed as lead blockers.

As the bout went on, though, LaFond kept coming up with the star on her helmet.

“We try to take turns,” she said. “Ideally, you’d like to go every three at most. But jamming is hard to do, and a lot of people get discouraged by it. So, sometimes you go out every other one.”

Illumi Naughty stood out along with The Grand Chawhee for the Misfits.

Other contributors for the Queens were Jennifer “Jen A Fire” Kueffler, Lani “Lanslide” Gershmel, Cassandra “Fus Ro Dragneel” Tennant, Casey “Case Closed” Vanatta, Kaleena “Mother Earth” Miller and Emmy “Public Enemmey” Hailstone.

The Copper City Queens will be on the road for a pair of bouts in April. They travel to Pocatello, Idaho, on April 13 and Billings on April 27. They’ll play in Helena May 18.

Butte’s next home action is June 8-9 when the Queens host the second Continental Derby Divide Tournament. 1 comment



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1 Comment

  • Meredith Ann LaFond
    April 14, 2022, 2:14 am

    This totally made me miss my derby days! Instantly bought me back. Thanks for writing this.

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