MACHINE MONDAYS: A Thank You To The Shirewolves!


The first female team belt holders. Pioneers for women in the league. The Shirewolves recently announced their retirement from competing in the Schmoedown and I have some parting words for them. I’m not sure if they are enough to thank them for what they have done for me and for this league but I’ll try.

In my article “Part of the Story,” I talked about my constant search for diversity in the things I loved. The Schmoedown being one of those things that, while I really enjoyed it, was a male dominated entity. Then suddenly more females came onto the scene. Among some of the first to make a huge impact were Clarke Wolfe and Rachel Cushing; both being incredibly impressive in teams and continuing to excel across the board in other divisions. It was so exciting for me to see women stepping to the forefront, holding their own and being so much fun to watch.

Clarke always seemed to be a force. Strong willed, smart in how she played, laser focused and confident. It was clear how she got the name “Classy.” Impressing with her speciality horror knowledge that wasn’t commonly seen from most competitors. Seeing her strength in being purely self-assured was such an inspiration to me as someone who struggles with feeling confident, even more so as a rookie first coming into the game. Her attitude and command of the forum was equally as captivating. 
Thank you Clarke for showing me how important it is to respect the game and just how beautiful confidence can look on a competitor.

Rachel was always amazing to watch. Her expansive film knowledge was on another level. She could seamlessly move from each division and dominate. What made Rachel an icon for me was how much I could relate to her journey. She wasn’t an actress or a performer. She started the game as just a movie fan. She spoke with her skills but as she advanced, she became more self confident. You could see her start to shine, to become the “Crusher.” It was awe-inspiring to see her come into her own, growing into a well-rounded competitor and embracing every aspect of the game with such grace. 

Thank you Rachel for showing me passion in action; for overcoming self doubt and making me feel like I could do this too and be more than I ever thought possible as a woman in this league.

When these two came together, it seemed crazy that it hadn’t happened sooner. They complemented each other so well and the way they encouraged one another was so special to watch. I was extremely blessed to even be considered among them as a woman in the Schmoedown and so very thankful to be around to witness their amazing reign firsthand.

They will be extremely missed by all involved in the Schmoedown, but the legacy they have left and the impact they have had on the league will never be forgotten. I can’t thank these women enough for paving the way for females in the Schmoedown; for giving us a spotlight on this platform and showing us we could shine brightly and beautifully.

~ Machine


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