Santa Barbara’s own roller-derby team won its second home game, and the last of the season, by a blowout score of 184-40, at Earl Warren Showgrounds last Saturday. The Mission City Brawlin’ Betties, just completing their first season, have quickly become a force to be reckoned within California roller-derby competition.

In front of a diverse crowd of about 700 excited fans, with standing room only, the team played at its home track, the borrowed roller-hockey rink at the back of the showgrounds. The team is quickly outgrowing the venue because of its rapidly increasing fan base and may be looking for a bigger venue in the future.

Although the 184-40 score sounds like a cakewalk for the team, the game with the West Coast Derby Knockouts of Ventura, was actually one of the most hard-fought of the season. The Ventura team put up a valiant effort right until the end of the two-hour game, but could not overcome the superior skills of the Betties. Under the coaching of Dita De Los Muertos and the leadership of Captain Viva Violence, they have become one of the most successful teams in their league.

Fans can’t wait for the next season to begin. With $5 admission, they’re probably the best sports entertainment value in Santa Barbara.

— L. Paul Mann is a Noozhawk contributor.