Gold Star Volunteer award February 2015

And the February 2015 Volunteer Gold Star Award for Excellence goes to……drumroll please…. Doc Holliday! He puts in many volunteer hours reffing adult and junior bouts and scrimmages. He takes his reffing job seriously, but we see that he has an awesome sense of humor as well.  We asked him some questions and here are his answers:

Do you remember your first Rose  City Rollers bout? Where and when?
During RCR’s season 1 in 2006, I planned twice to attend a game, but I didn’t get my tickets early enough and they were sold  out 2-4 weeks in advance. In November,  I  happened to meet Psychotica who had just been drafted to the Heathers.  She mentioned that RCR was looking for refs and I should try it out. The first RCR game I saw was the Season 2 season opener when I was reffing in the middle of the track.

BoMref by Psychotica

Doc showing his fun side as OPR in the Brides of March bout.   Photo by Psychotica

Did you ever want to be a skater?
Many times. I went to the first few PMRD practices in an asphalt basketball court, but I’ve had my own small business since before derby and if I even sprain a finger it would shut down. That has kept me from doing anything beyond reffing and just a few pick-up scrimmages early on.
Why have you stayed involved with RCR?
Initially,  it was just something cool I could do on skates. I started outdoor skating 37 years ago. Within the first few months, though, I knew there was something unusual going on. There’s a very hard to explain or describe culture within roller derby, of support and inclusiveness, that is unlike anything else I have ever seen or heard about. The movie Brutal Beauty (available on Netflix and Amazon.com) and the short video that Cuss and and her crew released just before champs do the best job explaining it that I have yet seen. You can watch CopernaCuss’s video here: We Are the Wheels of Justice
Doc as Jam Ref

Photo by Skippy Steve

What was your favorite volunteer experience?
I went on a road trip to Vancouver B.C. with the Heathers in 2007 or 2008 which happened for no other reason than just to scrimmage and  hang out with the Terminal City league. I did a bunch of reffing and a bunch of impromptu bar tending that weekend.  It still stands out as my favorite derby experience ever.
What has being in RCR volunteer meant to you?
I’ve never done any other sports officiating before and have never been very interested in sports in general.  Reffing derby has taught me that I’ve been a rules nerd since birth. I get a lot of satisfaction in facilitating the environment in which a sports competition can take place: everyone knows the rules and they are implemented evenly and fairly.  Without that, any ‘sport’ is just a bunch of random people doing random things for no particular purpose. Also, when I try to imagine what I would be doing right now if derby never happened to exist when it did, I can’t help but think that my life would be be much more drab.
Do you have a favorite skater and/or official or a great derby crush?
Many and various over the years. That’s another aspect of the crucible of derby. People enter it from all areas and walks of life and it strips away all the clutter of the outside world and just leaves people who enjoy what they are doing for its own sake.  I’ve met and gotten to know so many people on a more basic level than I would normally know outside of a small circle of friends.  Scald Eagle is a fantastic human being.  Her amazing athleticism, goofiness, humility, and equal joy of being on the giving or receiving end of the biggest hits is a wonder to behold.
Doc 4 by Mika

Doc showing us one of his many fantastic skills. Photo by Mika

How has RCR changed since you began volunteering?
I joined RCR right around the time the league made a rule that skaters could not have a shot or three just before skating in a practice or a bout. It was very controversial. Now the Wheels of Justice train at an Olympic athlete’s level.
Is there anything RCR could do better for its volunteers?
Like everything in life, league appreciation of volunteers is cyclical. This is especially true for the refs. Everyone hates the ref at one point or another, right? At the moment we’re short on officials in all positions, so I think there’s more that can and should be done for volunteer recruitment and retention by the skaters, I’m just not sure what it is.



How does it feel to be a Gold Star Award for Excellence in Volunteering winner?
A little recognition and appreciation is always nice.
I don’t know. I’ve wondered the same thing. I don’t see myself stopping skating or moving anytime soon, so it seems likely I’d just keep reffing. I’ve come close to leaving RCR twice. There were two especially low points of skater-ref relations in the league that did drive a number of volunteers away permanently. I hung in there and things eventually turned around again.

Doc Holiday

Photo by Lucky Vantucky

Any suggestions for new volunteers or those considering volunteering with RCR?
Just try it. There’s no other sport or culture like roller derby. It’s an amazing phenomenon that’s much less common than a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It’s something you’ll be glad to remember, rather than hear stories about it years and decades from now about what you missed.
Final thoughts?
For any volunteers that have been at it a while and might be getting a bit burned out, go help out with a game for a smaller local league. I know, it doesn’t seem to make sense to be burned out and then do more, but trust me, it works. The energy in the smaller, newer leagues is more like RCR was in the early days. I find it refreshes me to be around that “OMG, OMG, OMG!! I GOT LEAD JAMMER!!!” mentality again.

The 2015 Rose City Rollers Home Season is Here!

 

And the 2015 Rose City Rollers Home Season is Here!

GNR 2015 season opener FunFrank

Betties 2015 season opener, photo by Regularman

GNR 2015 season opener FunFrank

GNR 2015 season opener, photo by FunFrank

Wow, it’s 2015 already and the new RCR home team season is upon us. Just in case you missed it (and we will forgive you if you did, but just this once!), the Season Opener on December 13th was an edge-of-your-seat, eye-popping, and spine-tingling event. The High Rollers gambled and won against the Heartless Heathers in the first bout, and the Break Neck Betties held a commanding lead in the race against the Guns N’ Rollers in the second.

High Rollers 2015 Season opener Regularman

High Rollers 2015 Season opener, photo by Regularman

Heartless Heathers 2015 season opener SkippySteve

Heartless Heathers 2015 season opener, photo by SkippySteve

 December also brought several exciting changes to our favorite home teams with the loss of some long-time skaters to retirement, the transfer of others to Travel Team only, and the gain of our newest Fresh Meat draftees. On Friday, December 5th, home teams gathered at the Oaks Park Hangar to welcome a total of 10 new skaters to their teams (including me!!!).

 Guns N’ Rollers: Juke Nukem, Raven Mad Mahony, and D. Molly Schur

GNR draft Dec 2014

Juke Nukem, Raven Mad Mahony, and D. Molly Schur on draft night

 

Heartless Heathers: Smalls, Ferret Bueller, and Wrathmatica.

HH Dec 2014 new drafts

New Heartless Heathers drafts: Smalls, Ferret Bueller, and Wrathmatica.

 

Break Neck Betties: Double DLuxxx,  IV Cardiattack,  Carrie Go Round, and Ms Spank

Betties draft Dec 2014

Some current Betties plus the new drafts on draft night

Once again, the High Rollers had no spots available and did not draft anyone. It will be interesting to see how this team plays this year with a solid, unchanging roster of players.

You can catch the next home team game on January 31st at 7pm when the Break Neck Betties take on the High Rollers. Also, on the 30th you can watch RCR Fresh Meat play the Gorge Roller Girls. Come see some of the newest draftees, and also future draftees prove they have what it takes. All in one amazing weekend! All the fun, all the excitement, and hopefully a few cat unitards. Yep, it’s roller derby.

(author mini bio: Carrie Go Round was recently drafted to the Break Neck Betties after an endless but extremely opportune year of training on Fresh Meat. The experience has been like a MasterCard commercial. )

 

RCR Draft Night: Spotlight Double DLuxxx

RCR Draft Night: Spotlight Double DLuxxx

DLuxxx photo by Regularman

DLuxxx photo by Regularman

One of our newest draftees, Double DLuxxx transferred here from Bend, Oregon. This strong and efficient blocker was smartly drafted by the Break Neck Betties.

How did you get your name? A friend’s boyfriend came up with my name.

What is your skating experience? I started skating January 2011 with Lava City Roller Dolls in Bend, OR. Before that, I hadn’t skated for 15 years.

What was the drafting process like? The drafting process was fun and nerve racking. There is a lot of uncertainty during the drafting process. Since I was a transfer skater, I didn’t get a chance to get to know the teams very well. I took the attitude of everything that happens is meant to be. The teams know what they are looking for.

 

DLuXXX

DLuXXX

Any advice to FM skaters or those thinking about trying out? My biggest tip to FM skaters is to stay positive. Attitude is everything. If you believe you can’t or you can do something, you’re right. Also push yourself and bring intensity to EVERY practice.

Who in derby has influenced/motivated you? There are so many skaters that motivate and influence me. There are a few on Betties alone! Licker’s quickness motivates me to get faster. Nutz and Ripley’s communication inspires me to talk more on the track. Hurls and Push’s smart game play motivates me to get better at strategy and be a more effective player.

How do you feel about being on a team or what are you most excited about for the upcoming season? I’m excited to learn how to work with my new teammates and play some kick ass derby. I’m a huge fan of Crossfit. The Betties have an awesome sponsorship with CrossFit Excellence that I get to use.

See if DLuxxx can help bring her team to victory on January 31st against the High Rollers. 7pm at the Hangar. Get your tickets now!

Interview by Carrie Go Round

Gold Star volunteer for April, Agent Meow

Photo by Lucky Vantucky

April’s Gold Star for Excellence in Volunteering goes to DJ extrordinaire, Agent Meow!
Read on to learn a bit about Rose City’s resident mixmaster.

 

RCR: Do you remember your first Rose City Rollers bout? Where was it and when?

Agent Meow: I attended my first RCR bout as a fan in 2010. I crafted my first piece of propaganda for the Wheels of Justice (a black & white pegacorn in a stable with a skater) in November of 2011 and began DJing roller derby at the first hangar game of the 2012 season.


RCR
: Why have you stayed involved with RCR?

Meow: Because Rose City exemplifies a determined and progressive global community. It is a shining example if grass roots activism and volunteerism towards a positive and inclusive goal. RCR has helped to prove that flat track roller derby is not only a sport, but an evolved social movement. Anyone who truly realizes that is proud to be a small part, which is why our volunteer staff is so dedicated year after year. I am but a tiny part of this group.

Keary3-MasoniteBurn

Photo by Masonite Burn

RCR: What was your favorite volunteer experience?

Meow: Helping to form the Legion and the Rose City All-Stars Marketing & Art Team in 2012-2013 with Hari Kari, Miss Ann Cash, and Northern Lights Out. Since then, we’ve been able to craft an amazing, unified social media and merchandise eco-system for the Wheels of Justice. In recent years, the addition of Bashonista, Scylla Devourer, Hannah Jennings, and Coperna Cuss has give the Legion and the Rose City All-Stars a design and marketing skill set that I believe is unparalleled in the WFTDA.


RCR
: What has being an RCR volunteer meant to you?

Meow: It has meant assisting in a mission far greater than a single person or a team. Rose City is a flag-bearer for the sport of roller derby, so volunteering here means you are helping shovel coal into the very furnace that keeps us all moving. Or… wiring panels into a solar array or some other more eco-friendly Portland metaphor.


Keary4RCR
: Do you have a favorite skater/official/volunteer?

Meow: Hellslinger. Without her, I would not be here in the first place.


RCR
: How has RCR changed since you began volunteering?

Meow: There’s too much to mention here. I will say that no institution before has allowed me to combine every one of my artistic interests, my heart, and my mind, into one cause. Also, I’m generally a lot more tired and interested in eating hamburgers now.

WOJ Fights for the Hydra

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Today the Wheels of Justice take on Gotham Girls Roller Derby for the top honors in roller derby — the Hydra.

Don’t miss this historic event as WOJ displays their determination and skill while ending the recent domination of Gotham.

Come to the Hanger, log into into WFTDA.tv, or join the lucky members of RCR who spent their savings to go to Nashville!

500 strong, we are the Rose City Rollers and you are our All-Stars!

What do we want?

JUSTICE

When do we want it?

NOW

 

Here’s something to fill the time before the first whistle: We are Wheels of Justice

 

New Heathers Draft: Story Johnson

Lets meet another new draftee to the Heartless Heathers:
Name: Story
Photo by Regularman

Photo by Regularman

Derby Name (if you have one):
Haven’t decided yet, hoping for some help with that!
How did you first come to learn about derby?
My sister-in-law asked if my husband and I wanted to go to a bout.
What took you from fan to skater?
The moment I watched that bout. I remember sitting there and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of the game. I was falling in love.
My heart was pounding the entire game.  I turned to my husband and said: “I want to do this!” and he said: “So do it”. And of course I was like: “Do you think I can do it?” and he said: “I think you can do anything”.
What were your first experiences on skates?
I skated a tiny bit as a kid. But more recently, I took the Derby 101 class at Oaks Park. Ryan {my husband} went with me in support.
And oh man, it was hilarious. I was a baby deer. I left thinking how could I possible do this?! What have I gotten myself into?
Photo by Regularman

Photo by Regularman

Who helped you or influenced you the most during the early days? Once I signed up for the Wreckers program the first step is always Derby 101. And my first coach was Wrathmatica. I remember the moment I met her and I will never for the rest of my life forget her. She was kind and patient. She expected us to apply what we were learning and to push ourselves. That was something I was looking for. Feliz Brutality was another one of my coaches in 101, I admired {and still do} how freely she moved with her skates on. Roarshock Tess, and Winnie the Pow were two of my first Wreckers coaches. Their smiles, positive energy, and clear communication were so incredibly important to me. And Minstrel Psycho. My derby mama. She always believed in me, and never held back in telling me that.

When did you tryout for Fresh Meat?
It was December 19th 2013. It was the first Christmas I was celebrating and I knew if I made it it would be the BEST Christmas present!
What was your experience like on Fresh Meat?
It’s so hard to find the right words. I was told it would be this huge competition, no camaraderie, you’d be fighting for a spot on home teams, and it’s all about politics. I went into Fresh Meat with a sincere determination to fall in love with my FM team. I wanted to love these women and be loved by them. I wanted to make this the best experience of my life. And that’s exactly what happened. I let the negative thoughts of those people wash away, and I just skated and bonded with these women. And I love them all so much. They helped me be a better me.
Any advice you would give to skaters thinking of trying out for Fresh Meat? DO IT!!! Just go. Give it your all, and don’t let anyone shape your experience for you. You make it what you want it to be.
What was draft day like for you?
Before or after? HAHA! My husband was incredible at keeping me as calm as one can be in this situation. He helped me focus on the positives even if I wasn’t drafted. And then I met up with my girls for Sushi. Couldn’t really eat. But beer helped! Being with my meaties really helped the nerves. Until the phones started going off… I was the first one to receive the message and to the surprise of no one I balled like a baby.
What makes you most excited about the upcoming season?
Working as a team. I was raised in a very strict religious household, I was never allowed to play any sports or  be involved in extracurricular activities. So this has literally been a lifelong dream come true.
Who on your new team are you most excited to skate with?
Right, because I am going to pick one!! Each and every one of them has something to teach me, I just hope I have what they are looking for in a teammate, and something I can give them in return.
Photo by Regularman

Photo by Regularman

Anything else that you would like to say.
 I want to thank everyone who believed in me. Especially my husband. There were so many times that I wanted to stay home because I was tired, or because I missed spending time with him. And he knew the whole time that this was a dream of mine, and didn’t ever want to stand in the way of that. Without him I wouldn’t have made a home team. And that is something I am forever grateful for.

New Heathers Draft: Sui Jennaris

It’s time to get to know another member of the latest draft class.
Let me introduce Sui Jennaris.
Sui Jennaris, photo by Capn Harass

Sui Jennaris, photo by Cap’n Harass

How did you choose that name?

Oh Lord, it was a f**king epic struggle. I had lists upon lists.  I ended up going with that one because it ultimately felt the most right.

How did you first come to learn about derby?

When I first moved to Portland, I didn’t know a soul other than my roommates: Roller Eclipse and her girlfriend. They invited me to one of her bouts, which was my first introduction to derby.

What took you from fan to skater?

So when I went to that first bout of Eclipse’s, I was floored.  It was a dramatic come-from-behind victory from GNR.  I was over the moon.  Her girlfriend looked at me, pointed at the Wreckers slide on the screen, and said, “You know, they have a recreational league.”  And it was all downhill from there.

What were your first experiences on skates?

I went to an open skate at Oaks.  My tummy hurt from clenching it. “Woah woah woah!” was my main expression.

Who helped you or influenced you the most during the early days?

Tyger Bomb was a constant, no-BS voice of reason and support.  Roarshock Tess showed me how short, bespectacled redheads are naturally the awesomest at derby.  I watched Untamed Shrew a LOT, because she came from the same background as I did — figure skating.  Every time I watch her skate, I learn something new.  Mistress of the Knife was very helpful early on, and her technical skill is still an inspiration.  And Nacho Lucky Day was one I watched, and still watch, because she’s a super role model for quiet, calm brilliance on the track, not to mention how she teaches a master-class in plowing each time she stops.  Seriously.  Go watch Nacho plow.  I’ll wait.  …SEE WHAT I MEAN?!
When did you tryout for Fresh Meat?   April 5.

 

What was your experience like on Fresh Meat?   Equal parts wicked hard and super fun.

Sui Jennaris, photo by Masonite Burn

Sui Jennaris, photo by Masonite Burn

 

Any advice you would give to skaters thinking of trying out for Fresh Meat?

Go to Wreckers. Ask for the 50LK.  Build your endurance and skate, skate, skate.  Go to Open Scrimmages and jam, even though every single second will be hell on Earth.  Planks and squats are your friends — if you say that often enough, you’ll start to believe the lie.
But more important than any of that, in fact the most important thing, is GO TO ALL THE BOUTS.  Go to every single one that you can.  Watch and learn — do whatever you need to do to actually understand what’s going on.  Yes, you can watch footage, and that’s fine.   Mike Chexx is a f***ing amazing announcer (it’s a GD shame that he’s retiring), and you can learn a ton from his commentary.  But actually going to the bouts allows you to be in the crowd and hear, um, other opinions.  Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t, but decide in either case — think critically about what you’re watching.  Or don’t do that, and do something else — but learn to comprehend and appreciate what’s going on.  LEARN DERBY.

What was draft day like for you?

Nerve-wracking.  I had a chem exam that same Friday, and I’d needed to study/prepare for it all week.  Because I had to focus on that other thing, I couldn’t freak out about the draft as much as I probably would’ve otherwise.  A blessing in disguise, really.  But seriously, my levels of denial and avoidance were so profound as to be borderline magical thinking.  When the chem exam was done (ugh, 83), I didn’t have an excuse anymore.  I was so nervous.  I was basically useless for the rest of the day.  We all went out to sushi together and tried to eat and have fun while we all compulsively clock-watched and checked our phones.  Then the texts started to come in.  When I got mine…is there a word for relief/terror/excitement?

What makes you most excited about the upcoming season?

I’m ready for the next challenge, the next level of play and new obstacles.  Higher expectations.  I’m ready, and I’m determined to skate better than I ever have before.  I’m super honored and privileged to be joining the Heathers on the track this season, and I’m excited to build trust and team identity with my new sisters.
…lol jk I’m just in it for the glitter helmet.

Who on your new team are you most excited to skate with?

I’m super mega ultra excited to skate with all my new Blue teammates, to build relationships and trust with them.  I can’t wait to absorb what they have to teach me.  I’m trying to be apolitical and not name names, but Knife’s an amazing skater and a fantastic coach, and I’m honored to have her instruction.

Anything else that you would like to say.

I would like to say HAAAIIIIII ALLLLTHHHHHEEEEAAAAA!!!! to the Heathers’ biggest fan.  *waves*  Also, this.

New GNR Draft: Hound

It’s time to get to know another member of the latest draft class.

Let me introduce the Hound of BadAsskervilles. Like her new GNR teammates, you can just call her Hound.

Photo by Regularman
Photo by Regularman

How did you choose that name?
I love reading and I really love Victorian detective novels. When I started thinking about derby names, I immediately started thinking about Sherlock Holmes.

How did you first come to learn about derby?
Living in Portland, it’s just kind of around. I went to a few bouts with friends and was always so impressed and fascinated by it.

What took you from fan to skater?
A friend of mine really wanted to join Wreckers. I thought it sounded fun, so I bought some gear and went to orientation. She never ended up going, but I figured it would be a fun thing to try out. I never imagined how much it would take over my life!

What were your first experiences on skates?
Terrifying! Having wheels on your feet is a whole different thing. I was afraid to lift my foot over the little foam bumper thing around the track. Once I got a little more stable it felt like I was flying. I was hooked!

Who helped you or influenced you the most during the early days?
I think all of the awesome people on Wreckers. I defy you to find a more supportive, awesome, and encouraging group of women. It is super intimidating being in Wreckers when you’re just starting out. They are so good! But they are quick to welcome you immediately start encouraging you and pushing you to be better.

Photo by Regularman
Photo by Regularman

What was your experience like on Fresh Meat?
Fresh Meat was a tough challenge for me. I have never done sports, so Fresh Meat was the first time I really had to deal with treating food as fuel and making sure I ate enough. It seems so simple, but it actually took me awhile to figure out I was tired all the time because I wasn’t eating right. It’s so important!
Mostly Fresh Meat was fun and challenging. It’s such an amazing group of people who show up to work hard and have fun. Everyone is so supportive of each other too, which was really nice.

Any advice you would give to skaters thinking of trying out for Fresh Meat?
DO IT!! That’s it. Just do it.

What makes you most excited about the upcoming season?
I know I will have a lot of work to do before I can expect to be on a roster, so for now I’m just really excited to get to know my team and start working to get as good as they are.

Charleston Bound: Wheels of Justice Roll to Playoffs

Portland, do you know what you have on your hands?

Not only are the Rose City Rollers a super fun non-profit organization, but they’re also home to one of the best roller derby teams in the world. The Wheels of Justice, Rose City’s All-Star team, are ranked #4 in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), and they’re headed to playoffs.

Before you stands a team. Photo by Skippy Steve.

How do Playoffs work?
There are four playoff tournaments, and teams are invited and seeded according to their WFTDA ranking. Stick with us here. Because the Wheels of Justice are ranked #4 overall, they’re a #1 seed going into this weekend tournament.  WOJ dukes it out, and if they’re one of the top three teams coming out of this tournament, they join the other winners at Championships in a month.

Does it matter if they win the playoff, or do they just need to be one of the top three teams?
Whoa whoa, let’s not put the cart before the pegacorn here, but it does help to win your playoff weekend. You get better seeding at Championships that way. *knock on wood*

Who’s the big competition at this playoff?
Victorian Roller Derby is a Australian juggernaut. WOJ beat them handily at home last year, but a year does make a difference. WOJ also beat the Philly Roller Girls earlier this spring, but this Philly team is known for peaking at tournament season and excelling under pressure.

The four and five seeds for this tournament have Championship experience, so don’t count anyone out.

OH NO WHAT HAPPENS IF WE LOSE?
Rose City gets a bye in the first round. If they lose their first game? Hello consolation bracket, goodbye Championships. If they lose their second game, they still get a chance to play for third place and a chance at Championships. Now calm down and check out this bracket, sports fan.

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE WIN?
Celebrate! And get ready for a trip to Nashville!

Can I watch?
Sure, of course! You can purchase a pass on WFTDA.tv to watch the weekend’s games online, or come hang out with us at one of our super cool watch parties.

Watch party?! Tell me more!
Details are still TBD, but we’ll probably have a low-key BYO-snack-type watch party on the big screen at The Hangar. Games are early due to the three-hour time difference. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and fan forum, and we’ll let you know the details as they’re sussed out.

What else do I need to know?
Wear purple, and prepare to do a lot of cheering.

What do we want?
JUSTICE!
When do we want it?
NOW! 

Yinger, Mercy, and Mutch

Fun AND fearless. Photo by Skippy Steve.

 WRITTEN BY FRISKY SOUR

 

Welcome the Newest Draft Class

On Friday, September 26, the RCR community gathered at one of its newest sponsors — Buffalo Wild Wings — to find out which members of Fresh Meat were being welcomed onto home teams.  With the home team opener than usual this year, expectations were that this was going to an exciting draft.  And boy was it!

heathersSix draftees went to three different teams.

The High Rollers had no open spots available due to the recent return of Heidi Go Seek. Fortunately, that did not mean we would have to miss out on the magic of Bad Wolf in a cat unitard.

To the Heathers:
Allison Millak
Story Johnson
Jenna Routenberg, aka Sui Jennaris

To Guns N Rollers:
Anne Kim, aka Pain Goodall
Linsday Pont, aka Hound of BadAsskervilles

To the Betties:
Malorie Sneed, aka Phylla Bust-Her

So let’s meet the newest Bettie — Phylla Bust-Her.

How did you choose that name? As a political science major (and current law student), it just made sense.

How did you first come to learn about derby? I saw Whip It and just knew I had to give derby a try, as impossible as it seemed for me at the time. Little did I know I would still be going strong four years later!

PhyllaWhat took you from fan to skater? During my last year of high school I went to all of the Ft. Myers Derby Girls bouts (my hometown league) and got hooked even further. I figured that the only thing more fun than watching derby would be playing it! By the time I started college and was eligible to start skating with my former league, the Bradentucky Bombers, I knew I was ready.

What were your first experiences on skates? I had skated maybe a couple times on my mom’s ancient pair of quads, when I was very young. I distinctly remember the first time I put on my very own pair of R3s at age 18 and struggled to even stand up! I had to learn how to skate as an adult, and it was definitely not easy. I’m not ashamed to admit that a ref once told me that I was like Bambi on skates when I first started bouting! I’m still learning at every practice.

Who helped you or influenced you the most during the early days? I was completely amazed by so many of my future teammates on the Bradentucky Bombers. Well before I knew who Suzy Hotrod was, I was blown away by how fast Crash Test Barbie could skate (now also on the Ft. Myers team) and with how little effort Blaque Jac (now on Tampa) could deliver devastating hits. It took serious effort for me to even stay on my feet then, but I continue to admire what these ladies can do on the track.

When did you tryout for Fresh Meat? I transferred to Fresh Meat just a few days after moving to Portland this past July.

What was your experience like on Fresh Meat? It was definitely challenging! It was great to be coached by so many talented skaters, and scrimmaging with and against them was an awesome introduction to the level I’m striving to play at now. Although I’ve been playing derby for years, skating with a WFTDA league of this caliber is a completely different animal and I love the continual challenge it provides me.

Any advice you would give to skaters thinking of trying out for Fresh Meat? Do it!!! Be prepared to work hard and devote a lot of time to derby, but if you want it badly enough, it shall be yours. (Editor’s Note: Tryouts are this Friday!)

What was draft day like for you? The week leading up to it was so anxiety-ridden, but the day of I really just prepared myself mentally for rejection. I had zero expectations of getting drafted so soon after transferring, so it was nice to finally breathe that sigh of relief and acknowledge that my hard work had paid off. It was much more nerve-wracking waiting to hear which team I would be on!

What makes you most excited about the upcoming season? Just practicing with the Betties will be amazing! I can’t wait to see my team repeat their success from last season, and hopefully be a part of it. I have so much to improve on that getting rostered is a far-off dream, but the prospect of skating in my first WFTDA bout is too exciting for words.

Who on your new team are you most excited to skate with? Scylla Devourer. Not only do our names rhyme, but she gave me feedback on blocking at Derby Daze this summer, and it’s insane to think that she’s now my teammate! I’m going to learn a lot in my futile attempts to get past her.