Lulu Lockjaw

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bonnie Thunders Interview with DNN

Talking Derby to DNN: Bonnie Thunders, Gotham Girls Captain
by Hurt Reynolds - July 10, 2009 - 6:09am

In the days after the Texas Rollergirls' top-ten marathon weekend, DNN's Mercy Less interviewed representatives of each participating team for their reflections on the bouts. In the second of four interviews, Mercy talks with Gotham Girls captain Bonnie Thunders.

DNN: How did you prepare your team for the bout against the Texecutioners?

Bonnie: We’ve been prepping for this bout quite a bit because we were playing progressively harder teams this season for interleague. So we started with Boston, went on to Charm City, followed by Carolina, so I feel like that was good preparation, in that we were challenging ourselves a little more each time, and learning a lot about our playing style by playing our opponents, really seeing where our own weaknesses were.
Additionally, of course, I think endurance is a huge one, and I do believe that's one of the ways in which we won the game. We do have a really high level of endurance with the entire team at Gotham. That helps, not just with physical endurance, but mental endurance - to be thinking clearly even though you've been playing for 60 minutes, and also was really, really warm in there, all those factors on top of it.
Just in general, we came up with a plan - after every bout, working on improving what didn't work in that bout, and I think that we just built that momentum forward from the beginning of this season, culminating in this bout. Now we're able to regroup aain, and wrap up and prepare for Regionals.

DNN: What was your feeling about your team's performance going into this game? Did you have expectations?

Bonnie: I definitely had expectations. I really had high expectations, especially for our rookies, because they've been so strong lately. I was really glad to see that they all had pretyy good games. There were a couple of very, very new rookies - two girls that have only played one home season in the past. I was really excited for them to play such high level derby, so early in their careers. I felt that we did a really good job of filling in the holes of skaters that we lost last year.
I also had expectations for older girls' skills as well, not only living up to their reputations from last year, but also improving. I think that's the hardest part of being a veteran - how do you get better when everyone else is getting better, too. You have to be constantly improving your own skating even though everyone else is coming up under you, eating at your tail, so to speak.
So those were my expectations, for our rookies to get some good experience, and and really feel what it feels like to play a really high level derby game. Also for our veterans to push themselves that much more to show themwhere they've come since last season.

DNN: What was the most challenging thing about this game for your team?

Bonnie: I think that Texas had a really good offense, not that we didn't expect it, but it was a very strong offense. They really supported their jammers in the pack and I think that was somewhat of a challenge for us, because I don't think we had faced that before this season. That was something we really learned a lot about. How we need to overcome strong offense from another team, and really trying to stop their jammer.
I think the other thing about Texas is that their jammers actually improved really well. Obviously everyone expected Rice Rocket to be jamming a whole lot, and she didn't. It was really amazing to see the improvement their jammers had since last year. Especially Olivia Shootin' John, she's really come a long way. Nationals [2008], she didn't skate very many jams in their game. She had skated a lot fewer jams than she did in this game.
Lucille Brawl - she had never really been a jammer, but she really was a jammer. There were some girls on Texas who we totally didn't expect to be that strong as jammers - they really stepped up a lot from last year.


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