RetRollSpective – Team Primary

Hello and welcome to another RetRollSpective, where we reflect on the history of marble sports teams that have appeared in the tournaments of Jelle’s Marble Runs. This time, we’re going to roll to Team Primary, a team that originated in the 2016 Marble League. Read on to find out how this team has drawn the competition!

The official logo for Team Primary, designed by Tim Ritz.

Team Primary is one of the oldest teams in the Marble League, having been active since its inaugural season. That said, the team is newer compared to other teams that competed in tournaments years before the Marble League, such as the Balls of Chaos and the Fruit Circuit teams. The team grew up in Van Gotterdam, a city renowned as the art capital of the world. Prim and Mary, siblings, grew up in the city center. Their parents as well as their older sibling, Rose, were art connoisseurs and trained them to do the same. Prim and Mary attended the Van Gotterdam Academy of Art, the most prestigious art school in the world, and both graduated with Bachelors of Science in Art Restoration.

Rima grew up in Knikkegen, a nearby city, and was not interested in art in the slightest. Rima had a much different dream in life: to become a marble sports athlete. As a child, they watched as Jelle Bakker built up a regional marble league for fellow marbles to compete in individual events. Once they aged into it, Rima competed and won in their first year. Rima competed the next year and befriended Imar, the runner-up to them the previous year. That year, Imar won the Knikkegen Marble League in a photo-finish between Rima and Lightning, a future member of the Thunderbolts.

The Knikkegen Marble League went viral in a TV featurette about the growing popularity of marble sports tournaments around the world, with fans noting the high quality of the marble races produced by Jelle. In the next year, the tournament received applications from around the world, most of which Jelle had to decline. Two of the applications they did accept, however, came from two siblings from Van Gotterdam.

“The featurette was everywhere we looked,” remembered Prim. “There were fans everywhere, in the museums, in the squares. Even my parents brought it up. There was an air of excitement around it that I never could have imagined.”

Mary added, “To be honest, until then, we’d only learned to appreciate and get excited about art. But the more we watched it, the more that Prim and I saw that there was an art to marble sports. It was an art that inspired marbles to push themselves, to become the best versions of themselves.”

“We wanted to be a part of that,” concluded Prim.

Prim and Mary entered the 2014 Knikkegen Marble League with a modicum of training, but with that mindset, they attracted veterans to befriend them. Two of those veterans were Rima and Imar, and, later that year, they formed a team to compete in the tournament’s first team events. They chose the name “Team Primary” not just because of Prim and Mary’s studies in color theory, but, according to Prim, because “teamwork comes first.” They placed in the top ten of the standings during their first year, and in 2015, dominated throughout the season to win the tournament.

The official logo for the international Marble League, designed by Pim Leurs.

The growing popularity of the Knikkegen Marble League attracted the attention of Greg Woods, a marble sports aficionado who had been running the Fruit Circuit for almost a decade and was quickly running out of funding due to travel costs. Jelle Bakker met with Greg Woods in late 2014, and, noting Woods’ strong commentating abilities and ability to reach out to teams around the world, began planning an expansion to the KML that would add an international league. In early 2015, this expansion was expanded further to the entire tournament, and it was determined that teams from different regions would compete in individual and team events in one tournament. Jelle announced the new tournament in mid-2015 as the Marble League.

The Knikkegen Marble League, much like other regional tournaments, had spots allotted to high-performing teams. Team Primary and the Thunderbolts accepted the two invitations, confirming their placement in the 2016 Marble League the next year. Team Primary, lacking a formal stadium to train in, was offered the Bakker Bowl, the stadium where the KML was held. Once Team Primary constructed their stadium just outside of Van Gotterdam, Palette Park, the Bowl went through a refurbishment and was repurposed for the 2016 and 2017 Marble League.

Team Primary begins their friendship with Team Momo by earning a bronze in Collision in their place.

Team Primary earned their first points and first medal in the third event, Collision. Rima placed fourth in the Water Race and Imar earned a silver medal in the High Jump to put Team Primary at seventh in the overall standings. Unfortunately, the team went scoreless during the rest of the season and fell to twelfth place overall after the 2016 Marble League.

Imar clears the bar for the final time in High Jump, earning their silver medal with grace.

It became clear to Team Primary that they needed more training to compete with more experienced teams and to stay in the league. They entered the 2017 Marble League Qualifiers in a transfer position but surprised just about everyone when they earned thirty-one points, with a silver and a bronze, to place second at the end of the Qualifiers. Team Primary qualified for the 2017 Marble League with a comfortable margin, and drew attention from fans around the world, especially in Van Gotterdam.

Team Primary rode that wave into the first event, Funnel Spinning, as high as they possibly could, and earned their first gold medal. This was especially exciting since Prim had botched the event in Qualifiers, earning zero points.

“We were under the impression by that time that we had already qualified, and we didn’t want to deplete our energy. The main tournament was scheduled soon after Qualifiers that year, so I went in,” Prim decided. “I did not doubt that Mary could shine in the main tournament with Funnel Spinning. Mary is my better half, after all.”

Mary earns Team Primary’s first gold medal of the Marble League.

Prim did not fare well in the Long Jump but recovered, as seen by the team’s performance in the Fidget Spinner Collision. The team just made it into the quarter-finals, bested the Midnight Wisps, and fell to the Shining Swarm in a tiebreaker during the semi-finals. Team Primary earned a bronze medal during the third-place match against the Pinkies, rising into first place overall in the standings. Statistics-wise, they could not have been happier.

That said, Team Primary was distraught to hear that Momomomo’s injury would keep them out of the 2017 Marble League. The team was one of the first to reach out to Team Momo after the event, and, after learning of the costs for Momomomo’s surgery, looking for ways to fundraise money. Prim and Mary contacted their parents and organized an art auction, the proceeds of which they donated to Momomomo, who shared it with the rest of the team.

“To say that we’re grateful is an understatement. Team Primary, the Midnight Wisps, and so many other teams that supported us are the reason we’ve still been able to compete. We didn’t ask for the generosity, but we appreciate it beyond comprehension. Thank you,” Momomomo released in a press statement following the 2017 Marble League.

Team Primary has historically done well in Collision events throughout the Marble League.

Team Primary’s performance snowballed after the first three events, with several finishes in dead-last and one disqualification when Imar left the block too early in the Relay Race. The team finished the 2017 Marble League in fourteenth place, falling further in the standings since the first event than any team in JMR history. Regardless of their disqualification, they still would have been in the same position.

Following the 2017 season, Team Primary recruited Aryp, who had previously competed in the Tour de Vellis, to join the team as their reserve. Aryp joined the team as tensions began mounting with regular members. Without a defined team captain, members of the team caused crises of leadership while training, seeding a growing amount of issues internally that were left unresolved.

The 2018 Marble League Qualifiers came up quickly for the team, and, despite getting first in their group in Curling, fell short of qualifying by four points. The team gained a negative reputation for prompting a fight against the Balls of Chaos in the final event, the Halfpipe.

“I wasn’t trying ‘to knock Tumult out of the way’. I was trying to control myself on the halfpipe, but their momentum pushed me forward. I didn’t like that accusation, so I got angry,” said Prim.

An unfortunate stain on the legacies of these two teams.

“If you look at the bottom of the picture where both teams were fighting—that was me,” Rima revealed. “I didn’t want any part of that fight. It wasn’t worth it, and to see the fans get angry too was not something I wanted.”

Team Primary, out of the 2018 Marble League, was understandably disappointed to miss their first season. Nevertheless, they planned to make the most of their extended offseason together by going to see some of the tournament, traveling around the world, spending time with family, and training—until news broke of Team Momo’s two injuries. It was then that Rima suggested to their coach, Prima, that they should compete in place of Momomo and Momomomo.

“Prima initially denied, saying that a green team like Jungle Jumpers would be better suited to help them. They eventually realized that this would be an opportune chance for us to compete. Prim and I were the chosen marble athletes to form Team Momary, but the fans wanted Mary to join.” Rima’s expression fell. “So Mary joined. And I was denied the chance to compete.”

The first, and so far only, team merger in Marble League history.

When asked about the merger, Mary shrugged it off, “I mean, it made sense for me to compete. My name is a part of ‘Momary’, so. It’s only fair.”

Team Momary’s first group appearance was in the sixth event, Team Pursuit, where the team placed eighth but fell to dead last in the standings. After Momo’s gold in the Snow Rally, Mary competed individually in the Snowboard Cross and placed thirteenth. Team Momary competed again in Curling, where the team fared much better. The team fended off the Balls of Chaos and the Raspberry Racers in the quarter and semi-finals, making it to the finals. Although the Oceanics dominated over them in finals, Team Momary rolled away from the event with a silver medal: their first and only team medal of the season.

An event where Team Momary was able to prove their spot in the season.

The team placed in the middle of the standings in the next two events and was statistically eliminated from the podium in the penultimate event, Ice Hockey. From there, Mo’s fifteenth place finish in the Sand Mogul Race didn’t matter much, anchoring the team in twelfth place after the 2018 Marble League.

When asked about their opinion of the season, Rima was understandably disappointed. “Imar, Aryp, and I weren’t impressed, to say the least. And we made that known to Prim and Mary when they dissolved the merger in the offseason.”

Team Primary placed fourteenth in the 100 Meter Water Race and then tenth in the Amazing Maze Marble Race. Things were not looking up for the team on the outside, and they weren’t feeling good on the inside, either. 

“We were fighting. A lot. There was an obvious rift between the three of us, Prim, and Mary, and they didn’t even try to fix it,” Imar explained. “Well, at least not until after the Qualifiers.”

The team that was able to save Team Momo in 2018 was unable to sustain themselves in the 2019 Marble League Qualifiers. After two events, the team sat in nineteenth place with only five points to their name, and the next event could not have been a worse pick for the team: it was the Relay Race.

“I don’t understand what happens with us and relay races. Every year, it’s something,” Prim pondered. “This year was no exception.”

It can be seen from this screencap that the block had a direct impact from Imar, but Mary did not budge.

“Imar hit the block, but I couldn’t move,” Mary explained. “I felt something underneath me, and it blocked me from coming off the block. It killed all of the momenta—and just like that, we got zero points from that event.”

Prim and Mary appealed to the referee, who denied their request to redo the heat. Rima, Imar, and Aryp came down to re-appeal, but the referees adamantly denied their requests. After a fight broke out in the stands, Coach Prima joined the team but was escorted away shortly after by security, along with the rest of the team. The fight in the stands, which Team Primary fans started against Raspberry Racers fans, caused security to get directly involved, breaking up the fight and banning Team Primary fans from the stadium.

“We checked around the block, inside of the plate, and we did not find any debris,” an anonymous referee stated. “The Limers fans were still throwing the debris into the blue area, but it did not interfere with the relay course. We did the best we could to ensure that the race was fairly conducted, and we saw no reason to change the outcome.”

Team Primary sank to last place and did not rise. In the final qualifying event, Aryp crossed the line just behind Mo, and placed seventeenth, earning just two points. Team Primary failed to qualify for the 2019 Marble League in dead last, with only seven points earned in four events.

A disappointing sight for a tournament as respected as the Marble League.

The team left the Seven Seas Stadium on separate flights in shame, and, according to insiders, did not communicate with each other for almost a month, briefly and unofficially dissolving as a team. Prim and Mary returned to Van Gotterdam, where they were welcoming Team Momo as guests in The Palette, the team’s gardens when Jelle announced a new tournament connected to the Marble League: the Showdown. The ML Showdown would serve as a “B-League” to the existing main tournament, featuring the eight unqualified teams from the 2019 Qualifiers, two Hubelino Tournament teams, and two brand-new teams through a fan vote. Team Primary, as one of the eight unqualified teams, was automatically admitted to the Showdown.

Team Primary regrouped shortly after the announcement, with Prima being moved to the manager position while Secondary took their place as a coach. Coach Secondary chose Mary as the captain after several group therapy sessions with the team, which helped restore relations between its members and raise morale for the upcoming competition. After months of training, the team flew back to the Seven Seas Stadium to compete in what was arguably the most important tournament of their career: the 2019 Marble League Showdown would determine whether the team would make it to the 2020 Qualifiers and have a chance to redeem themselves for their abysmal performances throughout three Marble Leagues and the 2019 Qualifiers, or not.

The pressure was on for the team, and, initially, they did not handle it well. Prim’s tenth place finish in the Sand Rally gave the team a similar start to what they had in the 2019 Qualifiers. The next event was Collision, however, and, demonstrating similar skills that they had two years prior, Team Primary finished fourth, losing to Shining Swarm in the third-place match. Team Primary rose to seventh overall, a transfer spot—but not dead last.

With a seventh-place finish, Mary maintained a transfer position, even as the team fell to eighth place. The final event of the Showdown was Balancing, an event that no team had participated in since the beginning of the 2016 Marble League. It was an event where Team Primary did not score any points in 2016, but this time, things were much, much different.

At last, a beacon of hope.

Prim dropped off the beam at 57 centimeters and Imar dropped off at 99 centimeters, while Rima and Mary cruised to the end of the beam and into the green corral, earning 130 centimeters each. The team traveled a combined distance of 416 centimeters and was not bested by the rest of the competitors. Team Primary’s gold medal cemented its advancement to the 2020 Marble League Qualifiers and put the team in fourth place after the Showdown, just two points away from the podium. 

“They did everything they needed to do, and I’m proud of them,” Secondary remarked. “When it comes down to it, what they do out there is secondary to how they feel here. I got the feeling when I came onto the team that they were so worried about points and medals that they lost their appreciation for their art. Marble sports is an art, and their performance in the Showdown proved that they have the potential to craft it well. But what comes first is the team itself. It’s not perfect yet, but it’s getting there. There is something we all have in common besides our love for our flying colors—and we’re discovering that as we go.”While training during the offseason, the team received an official letter from the JMRC which extended an invitation for them to compete in the first season of Marbula One. Team Primary accepted, submitting Prim and Mary to compete in the tournament.

A promotional poster for Team Primary in Marbula One Season 1, designed by Jack Ironhide.

Prime Time

an addendum by The Emperor and Vector

Marbula One Season 1 was both the best of times and the worst of times for Team Primary. It was here that Prim, an oft-forgotten member of the team, finally came into their own as an individual racer: they never placed lower than fourth in an event and never qualified lower than seventh, earning pole position twice and a silver medal at the Momotorway GP.

Mary, on the other hand, could not have had a worse season. It was here that they became a meme in the worst possible way, as ill-hearted fans began spreading tabloid rumors that Mary was turning into a cube. Mary never placed higher than last throughout the season, save for the O’raceway where they were ahead of Wospy (following their conveyor belt debacle). The stark contrast between the two racers caused the team to finish seventh overall with 54 points. The difference between Prim, who placed fourth in the racer’s championship, and Mary, who placed dead last, could not have felt more distant.

Prim on the Momotorway GP podium.

The rest of the team felt inspired by Prim’s achievements to do the best that they possibly could in the 2020 Marble League Qualifiers. Maybe, just maybe, they could break the fourteenth-place curse.

“We’re motivated for the upcoming qualifiers!” Imar said hopefully. “We’re going to give it our best shot, and I think we have a solid chance at qualifying for this one!”

Alas, it was not to be. Although Team Primary improved remarkably from their appearance in the 2019 Marble League Qualifiers, they, unfortunately, missed out on the main tournament for their third year in a row. It was an especially difficult revelation considering that Primary placed fourth in the Showdown and seventh in Marbula One’s team championship. They, like the Snowballs, were on the verge of redemption but were ultimately squared off by two unfortunate results—an eighteenth place in the Funnel Endurance and a narrow loss to Bonbon of the Chocolatiers in the 5 Meter Sprint. Team Primary failed to qualify despite tying with Team Momo and the Bumblebees on points, due to Mo’s gold medal in the Funnel Endurance and the Bees’ silver in Balancing.

The biggest disappointment surrounding Team Primary, however, was their performance in Funnel Endurance, where Coach Secondary put in the athlete that made the most sense: Mary.

            “Everyone expected me to be the slowest. And yes, I know about all of the memes.” Mary acknowledged. “I’m not turning into a cube.”

“The thing with Funnel Endurance is that you have to keep moving to stay in the funnels,” noted Rima. “Mary wasn’t doing that. They fell pretty easily through the hyperbolic funnels with little momentum to keep them ahead of everyone.”

Mary looks on as the other competitors fight to keep spinning in the final funnel. 

Rumors were swirling that Team Primary was changing its captain to Prim, who placed fourth in Marbula One’s racer championship. 

“Mary resigned as captain as we were leaving the arena after the Qualifiers,” stated Prim. “I didn’t stop them,” they continued. “I have never doubted my sibling. Still, I think we both knew things weren’t going to work out with them as captain…especially after Marbula One.”

            “We’re grateful that Mary’s stayed with the team,” Imar, the team’s new captain, stated. “They belong with us, both their name and their talent. Mary may be going through a rough patch right now, but they will come back from this. We believe in them.”

“I don’t want to take over as captain for the team; if you’ve seen my results in the Marble League prior, you know that I’m not that good of an athlete. Marbula One is my specialty, which is why it made the most sense for Imar to become captain,” Prim stated, regarding the confusion as to why they weren’t made captain.

During the offseason, the team enrolled in an art school in Van Gotterdam for some lessons on balance. They spent weeks in the school before the Showdown, spending hours painting lovely paintings that portrayed their teamwork and balance and training with each other in the fields on their breaks. It was during one of these breaks that they met Professor C. Rollsant. Rollsant was a former Knikkegen Marble League competitor and won the competition way back in its debut season. The Professor had taken a liking to the team and offered to train them in their spare time.

“This team….they have so much untapped potential,” Rollsant said. “I was them at one point. The press can be a vicious foe. I can teach them to overcome that, and hopefully, they’ll be able to bounce back from their struggles before this.”

Professor Rollsant had the team complete various drills around the school during seemingly ordinary tasks. They had a relay race cleaning up the room, passing the broom around to each other. When the stairs to the upper level of the university were closed, they built a balance beam to roll across upwards. During an exhibition dodgemarble match in the courtyards, the Professor coached the team from the sidelines and had them practicing collision formations. 

“Coach worked us harder than ever back at home, but Professor here…they’re giving Coach a run for their money!” Aryp said with a chuckle.

Team Primary finishes second in the Relay Race at the Showdown.

The team began to dominate in competitions around the school, and by the time the 2020 Marble League Showdown rolled around, it showed. Their focus on team-building paid off during the 2020 Marble League Showdown, where they earned a silver medal during the Relay Run.

The team would place fifth in the Halfpipe as well. They had two subpar results in the Black Hole Funnel and Sand Moguls following, but they managed to secure a spot in the 2021 Marble League Qualifiers with 24 points.

The promotional poster for Team Primary in Marbula One Season 2, designed by Jack Ironhide.

The team was happy to be invited to participate in Marbula One Season 2, and collectively decided it would be best that Mary not return to the tournament. Rima, “Rimarkable”, took Mary’s place alongside Prim, who earned the new nickname “Hard Carry”. 

After a mediocre result from Prim at the opening Grand Prix, Minty Mania, Rima took to the traditional route of Team Primary’s Marbula One finishes and finished fourth at the O’raceway, the fourth time the team had done so in Marbula One.

The O’raceway Grand Prix. With Rima in thirteenth in this screencap, they ascended nine spots from there to finish just behind Tumult in fourth.

“Woo! That certainly felt great!” Rima said after the race. “I was in last for a little while, so to have climbed to fourth? Incredible!”

Prim followed this up with a solid sixth at the Honeydome, before Rima earned Team Primary’s first DNQ at the Aquamaring. Little did the team know, there would be three more of these in their future. Prim could not score anything at Tumult Turnpike, despite making it to Q3. And Rima could only manage fourteenth at the Arctic Circuit. The team sat in fourteenth at the end of the half.

“It’s disappointing, to say the least,” Prim said. “I need to get back into the groove I was in last season, I’m just not feeling it right now.”

Despite rumors that Team Momary would re-merge to compete in the Marble League Winter Special, these rumors were debunked upon the announcement that Team Momo would compete on their own. Team Primary stated officially that they would aid Team Momo in any form if asked.

During the offseason, the four main members of the team took a vacation in The Palette and spent a lot of time amongst the garden relaxing.

Prim, Rima, Imar, and Mary at The Palette, captured by The Emperor.

Aryp didn’t join the team, and instead went to visit relatives in the Himarblelaya Mountains, where the Winter Special was being held! Aryp and their cousin, Rypr, got to witness the tournament and were rooting for Team Momo. After the special ended, the team met up once more in Lewara, where Rima was chosen to represent the team for the first race of the second half of the season: the Raceforest GP.

Team Primary fans at the Raceforest.

Rima would not disappoint in qualifiers, and captured Team Primary’s third pole position of all time, the most of any team.

“I was ecstatic!” Rima said. “I’ll be rocking with the bongos with the crowd too, hehe,” they said right before the race. Sadly, Rima’s race would be disastrous, placing fourteenth; only above the two teams that got stuck at some point in the race. After the race, Rima was very upset and stormed to the locker room in a hurry. What followed was an argument between manager Prima and the “Rimarkable” athlete, leading to more tensions between the team. They boarded separate flights to Om for the Momotorway, the second time the team had done such a thing. 

“Rima needs space, and I respect that. I wish our manager would…” Mary said. “I know what it’s like to be furious at yourself for a bad race, trust me. I understand what Rima is going through.”

The whole team seemed on edge at the Momotorway. All of them were at separate locations throughout the race. Mary was in line for dumplings and helping out Team Momo. Imar and Rima watched from separate spots in the stands. Aryp was on a tour around the ancient ruins of Om with Momomo, coach Secondary was in the pit lane, and manager Prima didn’t make the trip. Prim hoped that they would be able to focus in the race, but slammed into the attenuator at the start of Sector 2 and did not qualify for the race. 

The team was in shambles. Except for Rima’s pole position, they hadn’t scored since the Honeydome. The tension between the team needed to be fixed. At the end of the race, not a minute later, the team fired Prima on the spot for their mistreatment of Rima and lack of support for the team.

“This is the second time Prima has let us down,” Prim said. “We needed support, especially Rima right now, and they showed nothing.” The rest of the team did not want to comment, and the team returned to Van Gotterdam feeling slightly relieved. They would be hosting the next race of the Marbula One season: the Palette Park GP.

The team had built the Tri-Tower in honor of hosting the track, and Mary would make a guest appearance at the Tri-Tower before the race, which saw Rima earn six points with a solid eighth-place finish. 

“It’s…a start.” Rima rimarked after the race. “Still a ways to go though, we’re still in fifteenth.”

Prim, however, still appeared to be rattled from the stress that plagued the team from the Momotorway, and could not qualify for the second time in a row at Misty Mountain.

“I just need a break, honestly.” Prim sniffled after the qualifiers and trudged into the locker room. Thankfully for the team, they would get the break they needed in between GP10 and GP11, as the Savage Speedway GP was delayed for a couple of weeks. 

During this time, the team met with Aryp’s cousin, Rypr, on a potential managerial interview. Aryp spoke very highly of their cousin, who used to co-manage a youth league team in Himarblelaya with their friend, Ripper. They co-managed the Ice Chippers, who would become a successful team in The Bourne Network’s competition. Rypr’s interview went well, and a week before the Savage Speedway GP, they were appointed as Team Primary’s new manager.

“Support has always been Rypr’s thing.” Aryp said cheerfully, “Coach needs it. The team needs it. We’re hoping we can use it to bounce back at the next race.”

And bounce back they did. Prim finished fourth in Q1, fourth in Q2, qualified for the race in fourth, and finished in fourth in the race.

Prim competing in the Savage Speedway GP.

“THAT’S what I’m talking about,” Prim said gloriously after the race. “We got our mojo back and scored fourteen points. It feels good. Real good. Let’s hope we can transfer this over into the final race.”

Rypr’s motivational magic appeared to be paying off, however, Team Primary would not qualify for the final Grand Prix. But the team felt slightly relieved.

“Well, at this point in the season, we knew we couldn’t make a statement run like last year, but it doesn’t sting too much,” Rima stated while watching the Midnight Bay GP unfold from the sidelines. “The best part of this season was re-learning what it’s like to be a team, and that’ll stick with us for a while.”

Team Primary finished Marbula One Season 2 in sixteenth place with 47 points, a nine-spot decrease from their breakout year in Season 1. The team returned to Van Gotterdam for the offseason a lot more pleased with themselves than they had been in the middle portion of the season.

“Our recent performances have been a little disappointing.” Orange, a longtime fan of the team said. “M1S2 went pretty badly, but it wasn’t all bad. Prim did have their moments, although it was a decline from last year. Rima had pole at the Raceforest, and fourth, almost a podium (darn you, Tumult!) at the O’raceway. The most recent Showdown went fine, we advanced [out of it]. We had one medal and mediocre to bad finishes everywhere else. Overall? Not great, but it could have been a lot worse. At least we aren’t the Jungle Jumpers…”

Team Primary had a nice, long vacation in The Palette over the offseason, where the team spent long days relaxing in the garden, avoiding the press.

“Once you train yourself to avoid all the negativity, it just sticks with you,” Imar said, donning sunglasses and a Pink Marblade. “Occasionally we’ll make a quick remark on our daily strolls on Tuesdays, but that’s it.”

Despite little of note happening in the off-season, just as they were packing up, they ran into some old friends.

The Strawberry Strudels were also based in Van Gotterdam, though they had competed in the Fruit Circuit almost all of their career. After it had ended, they initially split up, but eventually, in 2017, they made a surprise return at a small Van-Gotterdam-based marble sports promoter’s race. Now fresh off the Fruit Circuit reunion, team captain Shortcake bumped into Imar as they were leaving for Felynia.

“I remember Shortcake just suddenly noticing me and being really surprised, for some reason.” began team captain Imar, “They started going on at me about how good timing this was and how they had a question to ask us and asking how we’ve been. They seemed incredibly stressed out, so I asked him to settle down and if they wanted to chat on the plane. Turns out they were going to Felynia themselves for a rally race, so that was all sorted!”

“I probably shouldn’t be saying this,” whispered Prim, “but the Strudels are actually… way better than us, heh. I’m not saying that we’re bad, I’m rather saying that the Strawberry Strudels are an amazing team. I genuinely believe that if they ever wanted to enter the Marble League, they could easily get a top five finish, probably auto-qualify. I’m serious.”

It turns out that the Strudels had been meaning to meet up with Primary for a while. They had wanted to discuss becoming part of the team’s backroom staff. 

Jam of the Strudels commented on why they chose to apply.

“We love marble racing, but we aren’t getting any younger. Eventually we’ll have to retire, and we want a nice job to fall back onto when we do have to retire. And we want to keep contributing to the industry any way we can. We have agreed a deal with the team meaning that we can still compete in the odd competition whenever we want, but we still get the experience of training a group of athletes during the Marble League!”

Mary finishes ahead of the Oceanics and Hazers in the Marble League 2021 Practice Race.

The team would soon be on their way to Felynia, where they selected Mary to compete in the Marble League 2021 Practice Race. Mary managed a respectable ninth place, which felt the closest to redemption for them in a long time.

“I certainly felt good after that race, let’s hope that I can feel that way more often in the future.” They said happily as the team entered the Felynia Coliseum. “Better get going now, Qualifiers are starting soon!” They said, laughing, rolling into the locker room.

In RetRollSpective, Team Primary’s history is one of the most important in the Marble League. The team’s history is imperfect, but that is what makes it interesting, as it certainly adds to its charm. Art is messy and beautiful, and although Team Primary has yet to claim the spotlight, it is meaningful that they keep trying no matter what. Best of luck to Team Primary in the future, and keep on rolling!

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