Category Archives: Skater of the Month

Skater of the Month: Skater Tots

©2011 Donalee Eiri, Photography by D.E.sign

©2011 Donalee Eiri, Photography by D.E.sign

What attracted you to roller derby?
A friend on Facebook kept posting about it.

Did you skate or play another sport before starting derby?
No, I was the kid who got picked last for recess games and decided people who ran were dumb, so I would walk the whole time during the Jog-a-thon. It wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I started becoming more active and that was mainly with hiking and yoga.

How did you choose your derby name?
My dad calls me “tates” or “taters” so it was a play off of that. LauRAWR’s boyfriend GilBurrito thought of it. He’s so clever!

What’s your favorite (derby) position?
I like to block, but lately I have been trying to step out of my comfort zone and jam more.

What are you known for on the track? What’s your superpower?
Uh…I make people think of cake and it is a distraction?

Do you have a pre-game ritual?
Nope. I just make sure I don’t stink before.

Tell us about your greatest derby experience.
I’ve had lots of amazing experiences through derby. I can’t really pick out the “greatest.” It’s just awesome to go from thinking, “Man, I could never do that,” to saying, “Look! I’m doing it!” which happens a lot in derby when you push yourself.

Describe your gnarliest injury.
Broke and dislocated my ankle this past January during a Sunday derby practice. The following week I had surgery and they put in a metal plate and ten screws. It has been heartbreaking not to be able to skate these past three months but I am thankful for all the support I have received from my teammates. Plus I now have a big gnarly scar—scars are cool right?

What do you contribute to SVRG *off* the track?
I am head of Human Resources. I get to handle lots of paperwork and educate people about the Policies and Procedures.

When you’re not skating, how do you pass the time? What other passions do you have?
I have my own wedding and specialty cake business, A Spoonful of Sugar in San Francisco which takes up a lot of time! I like to get ice cream with my BFF LauRAWR, see movies with Spankin’ Firecracker, hang with my MLOA buddy Lindsay Lohanded, watch RuPaul’s Drag Race, cuddle with my adorable kitty cats, and spend time with my boyfriend Baker.

Who are your heroes of roller derby?
Bonnie Thunders from Gotham. When she is stuck behind a wall, it’s like she doesn’t even have skates on!

I look up to lots of girls on SVRG. I hope to be able to make a comeback like Bionic BabyDoll after her back surgery. Every time I think about how much it sucks to not be able to skate for 4-6 months, I remember that she couldn’t skate for like two years. Now she’s becoming a beast!

Can you offer any advice to people who are interested in derby?
Don’t be afraid of screwing up. It takes a lot of time, effort, and just plain hard work. Never think that you’ve got something down because you can always improve. Be humble and ask questions. If you just want to be good enough then this isn’t the sport for you.

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Skater of the Month: Patty Hearse

Patty Hearse jams against Maui Howlee at the 2011 Halloween scrimmage

Patty Hearse jams against Maui Howlee at the 2011 Halloween scrimmage

What attracted you to roller derby?
An old friend of mine was starting a roller derby team in Morgan Hill in April of 2010, and it just spoke to me instantly. I first looked at it as a way to exercise and stay in shape, but then when I actually started skating I loved the actual sport of it. My husband and I have always been athletic. He works out all the time and this is my way of keeping up with him. It’s something of my own that he can’t do. Derby skaters are athletes and I dare someone to tell me otherwise.

How did you choose your derby name?
My dad actually gave me the name. It’s in reference to the kidnapping of Patty Hearst in 1974 by the Symbionese Liberation Army. Google it. He thought I should change the Hearst to Hearse since my husband (a.k.a. “Wu”) owns a 1965 Pontiac Bonneville Hearse which is totally our “Sunday driver.”

Tell us about your greatest experience at Circuit Jerks, as rec league organizer.
Well, for starters, I love to learn new things, so taking that on is for sure a learning experience. I want to learn as much as I can! I haven’t been skating as long as some of the girls, so the Circuit Jerks really helps me improve my own skating skills while, at the same time, I get to help coach girls who have less experience than I do. I really want the Circuit Jerks to succeed and think it’s a great way to “play” roller derby if you can’t make the commitment to a league or are still unsure of what you’re getting yourself into. We have a lot of fun!

As a non-skating official (NSO), what are your responsibilities during a bout?
My role changes from bout to bout, but the basic answer is I do it all—from tracking penalties, to timing penalties, to keeping score, to tracking who’s in the lineup. I’ve never done any wrangling; I’m not that good, YET! I was hesitant to be an NSO because I really didn’t understand what it was, but I’m so glad I did. It helps me understand the game better and helps me with strategy. Just knowing what the penalties mean and what you can and cannot do helps build my derby knowledge.

You contribute so much to SVRG behind the scenes, too. What projects have you been working on as part of the bout production committee?
I revamped the bout program. That took such a long time. I sat at my computer for hours working on that bout program, while my husband was telling me to hurry up, but it was totally worth it. I also create an announcer’s handbook for each bout. That means gathering lots and lots of information from all the committees, leagues, and skaters and making it nice and pretty for the announcers. I’m gathering information so the coaches’, skaters’, referees’, and NSO’s profiles can be updated on the website. I’m also working on an idea I have for a league program.

When you’re not busy volunteering for the league, how do you pass the time?  What other passions do you have?
I am a wife, mother, and have a full time job. So having a husband and three great little boys takes up most of my time, but my husband and I still like to go out and have fun. I make him drag me to a lot of concerts and we take the boys out often. We’re wrestling geeks and comic book nerds. I like to get tattoos. (Quick tidbit: I recently got banned from a tattoo shop!) I like cars, zombies, ice cream, Wu, horror movies, and toys. I may be a wife and have three kids, but I still know how to have fun!

Who are your heroes of roller derby?
In all of derbyverse, I’d say Demanda Riot of B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls. I love her name and she is a beast on the track. She’ll beat you to a bloody pulp. Let’s be honest, is there anyone scarier looking on the track than her? She’s scary looking, but still a very nice person.

In Silicon Valley, I think Kozmo Trouble is a great skater, player, and fellow Misfits fan. Nobody blocks like her; she’s very impressive. I want to be like her when I grow up. I also appreciate Aim DeKill for having so much faith in me when others don’t. I’m also a part of the Peoples Temple and I believe in Jem Jones, but I DON’T drink the Kool-Aid!

Can you offer any advice to people who are interested in derby?
My main advice is you have to have a thick skin. Like any other sport, you’re going to have good days and bad days. You have to train like any other sport and be able to take criticism. With so many girls in the league, feelings will get hurt, words will be said, and friendships will be made and ended. A co-worker asked me, “Don’t all derby girls think they’re tough?” I replied, “I can’t speak for all of them, but I’ll tell you this one’s pretty tough right here.”

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Skater of the Month: LauRAWR!

LauRAWR!

©2011 Donalee Eiri, Photography by D.E.sign

What attracted you to roller derby?
I’m not sure. I was in grad school and wanted to do something athletic and fun.

Did you skate or play another sport before starting derby?
I hadn’t skated since I was a kid, but I felt like a super star when I was able to skate five laps around the track without stopping. I had a long way to go! In terms of other sports, I was always into different sports as a kid and teenager. I played soccer, softball, water polo, and was on the swim team.

How did you choose your derby name?
I really liked the idea of having a derby name with my real name in it so that I wouldn’t have to learn to answer to something new. I was hanging out with my BFF Tots and I drew a T-Rex on a piece of cardboard with a word bubble that said “LauRawr,” she started calling me it and it stuck. She kept the drawing and called it “the first dinosaur.”

What’s your favorite (derby) position?
I like to block, particularly to bust up walls as an offensive player.

What are you known for on the track? What’s your superpower?
Probably my positional blocking skills and derby brain. I like to know my rules, scout other teams, and pick apart strategy. I think it’s important to see the whole picture of the structured chaos that makes up derby, not just one side of it.

Tell us about your greatest derby experience.
Wow, that’s a lot of pressure! All derby has been pretty great. There are lots of little moments, like being able to hold my own against a really tough blocker, head reffing my first junior bout, being paid a compliment by a great skater…I think this category is never ending, there are always more experiences to be had.

Describe your gnarliest injury.
During my very first bout with SVRG, I was standing up from a fall and stumbled a little bit so I steadied myself with my hand and fractured my thumb. I didn’t realize it was broken so I still played the rest of the game and dunked it in a cup full of Taco Bell ice on the car ride home. I finally had to accept it was broken when my fiancé made me go to the hospital a week later because I wouldn’t use my right hand to do anything.

What do you contribute to SVRG *off* the track?
I’m the Killas Co-Captain so I spend a lot of time with Spankin’ Firecracker, my captain, working on strategies, motivating skaters, and promoting teamwork. I’m also head of SVRG 2.0 Junior Derby (Go Jerbs!) and head ref of the junior ref program. I try to give as much of my time to the league as possible because I am happy to support an organization that has given me so much.

When you’re not skating, how do you pass the time? What other passions do you have?
Well, in the professional world I am a librarian. In my private life I like to eat ice cream sandwiches with my bestie Tots, tease my honorary derby siblings (LiLo, Jonny D., and Ted W. Spin), listen to alt comedy podcasts, lift weights, run, eat pizza, dance at ska shows, watch nerdy TV shows like Buffy, watch Paul Newman movies, look at comic books, and spend time with my fiancé GilBurrito.

Who are your heroes of roller derby?
I like all the greats; Sassy (from Oly) has pretty amazing butt skills and Wild Cherri (Gotham) rocked at champs. Honestly though, I have some pretty savage peeps on my team who have supported me and helped me become a better skater. My mentors Catherine Beata Bones and Lindsay Lohanded amaze me every time I see them play.

Can you offer any advice to people who are interested in derby?
Go for it. Like, seriously. If you want to be even decent at this, it is going to take a ton of hard work and if you half ass it you will never get to the place you want to be. This means you are going to have to spend your off time working out. You are going to have to be objective about your own abilities. You are going to have to be humble and learn from people who intimidate or frustrate you. If you truly give 100% (don’t rationalize giving any less), then you’ve got this.

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Skater of the Month: Sasha Degrader

Sasha Degrader, Photography by D.E.sign

How did you find out about roller derby?

My brother told me about SVRG.  I had just gotten out of prison (for the last time) and did a lot of sitting on my mom’s couch with nothing to do, trying to stay out of trouble.  As soon as knew it existed I was committed to doing it.  The fact that the last pair of skates I wore was from Toys ‘R’ Us made no difference to me.  I paid for bootcamp and all my equipment by modeling through Craigslist.  Had I not done that, there would have been no way I could have afforded bootcamp.

What kind of skating skills or athletic abilities did you have before starting derby?

Me and my bestie, Corey, were die-hard roller skaters as kids.  We used to lube up our wheels with my mom’s sewing machine oil and go skate down any downward slope we could find.  I also played softball from t-ball through college at DeAnza.  I was a catcher, 1st baseman, and right fielder.

How did you derive your derby name?

My derby name is a parody on adult film star, Sasha Grey.

What is your primary position?

Blocker

What is your greatest strength as a skater? What do you contribute most to the team?

I think my greatest strength is that I love feeling out of control.

What has been your greatest experience on the rink?

The Sk808 Tournament was probably the most fun I’ve had at any derby event.

What’s your worst injury?

The most annoying injury ever is a hip flexor injury.  It’s like you’re injured but not.  It takes months to heal and never totally goes away.

What are you looking forward to the most this season?

I’m looking forward to our downtime to catch up on my endurance and strength conditioning.  I am also taking figure skating lessons starting in November.

What do you contribute to SVRG *off* the track?

Sponsorship is my new mission.  I have no idea what I’m doing, but I know that whatever I do, God wants me to be successful.  It will be a good learning experience and any failure is in not trying at all.

How do you spend the non-derby part of your life? What other hobbies and interests do you have?

I work two jobs.  I work with Lindsay Lohanded at her office during the afternoons, and I work at Coffee Society on the weekends and some weeknights.  I do H & I,  and I go see bands play with my fiancé, Jack.  Sometimes it’s really nice to just do nothing though.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give women interested in playing roller derby?

You have to make sacrifices if you want to do it, but if you do it right, it should change your whole life for the better.  I wouldn’t trade this for anything.  It’s going to be hard; you have to want it.  There has to be no other option.

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Skater of the Month: Teddy Wreck-Spin

Skater of the Month: Teddy Wreck-Spin

How did you get into roller derby?

I was originally asked to announce for SVRG. I saw how much fun everyone was having on skates so I decided to join in.

What kind of skating skills or athletic abilities did you have before starting derby?

I played a little bit of football and baseball when I was a kid. I rollerbladed when it was really cool. My whole family is very athletic, it was time I joined the party.

How did you derive your derby name?

“Teddy Ruxpin” was the creepy talking bear from the ’80s. Someone else thought of it for me and I took it. I’m horrible at that sort of thing.

What is your primary ref job?

I love to jam ref. Front inside pack is also a favorite of mine. I love skating backwards.

What position would you choose to play if you played roller derby, and what would you be known for on the track?

I think I would do best as a pivot. I’d be best known for ruining your day.

What is your greatest strength as a ref? What do you contribute most?

I’m pretty capable of skating all ref positions. I like to be able to show up to a bout and have many options to be able to help out.

What has been your greatest experience on the rink?

I’ve met so many amazing and beautiful people through derby, the SVRG zebras/skaters are the best. In the 2 seasons I’ve reffed derby I’ve also lost almost 70lbs. Derby has changed my life. I don’t like to think about what I would do without it.

What was your worst injury?

I fell on my skate once and got a wheel up the butt. Sitting down was tough for about a week. Luckily, that’s the worst I’ve been hurt.

What do you contribute to SVRG *off* the track?

I recently took over as head of PR/Marketing for SVRG. It’s been great to work with these girls in such a capacity. SVRG has done a lot for me and I like to give back.

How do you spend the non-derby part of your life? What other hobbies and interests do you have?

I work in radio.  I also have my own podcast, teddyandchris.com.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give other men who are interested in being a referee?

Being a skating ref is 80% game/rules knowledge and 20% skating. If you know how to skate that’s awesome, but you need to know the game. I like it when a skater approaches me before or after a game and says, “I’m so glad you’re here.” It’s the best feeling.

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Skater of the Month: Newton’s Slaughter

How did you find out about roller derby?

Friends of my friends wanted to start a league when I was a freshmen in college, and I thought it sounded cool but I was too afraid of getting hurt! Then, the summer I graduated, I had a lot of free time on my hands. I had seen fliers for the Glass City Rollers in my favorite Toledo bars, and just thought, ‘What are you waiting for? You can be scared when you’re DEAD!’

What kind of skating skills or athletic abilities did you have before starting derby?

I got picked on a lot in grade school gym class, so I’ve always been more interested in solo, non-competitive sports like running, weightlifting, and roller-blading. Maybe that’s why I like jamming so much!

How did you derive your derby name?

Physics is my geeky guilty pleasure – and you can’t explain a good whip without citing Newton’s laws of motion!

What is your primary position?

Jammer! When I block, I love playing the 2 spot to a great pivot.

What is your greatest strength as a skater? What do you contribute most to the team?

I take feedback really well and I have a positive attitude that just won’t quit. This is a fun sport and if we’re not here to get better, then what are we here for?

What has been your greatest experience on the rink?

At my first exhibition bout, I passed the pack 4 times in a power jam – Coach Panda told me not to worry, that I didn’t have to get the unicorn at my very first bout.

What was your worst injury, and how did you earn it?

Nothing too terrible yet. Once I got hit in the eye, and it was all red and puffy, but later I realized that I had put hot pink eye-shadow on right before the game and it really wasn’t that bad.

Who’s your biggest fan?

My partner Romel! Sometimes I suspect that he only wanted to ask me out because I played roller derby!

Who do you like to partner up with on the track? Which teammates do you work well with?

I communicate really well with Bad Tempt-Her and my wonder twin, Maui Howlee. And Stevie Knickers always reminds me to “use the ass for good!”

What are you looking forward to most this season?

My goal this season is to roster for the Killabytes at least once – here’s hoping!

What do you contribute to SVRG *off* the track?

I am the Volunteer Coordinator on the Bout Production committee. I had major fun at the last bout putting everyone to work; everything went so smoothly! These girls really know their bout day tasks!

What’s the one piece of advice you would give women interested in playing roller derby?

Pinpoint one skill to work on each practice – just one goal. You’ll really feel your accomplishment if you can keep and achieve just one goal a day. Case-in-point, my first scrimmage, I had five major penalties. The next scrimmage, my goal was to significantly reduce this number. I was able to focus hard on the goal and I ended up with no majors at all!

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Skater of the Month: Broken BabyDoll

Photo By Dave Wood Photography

How did you get into roller derby?

I found out about SVRG back in May of 2007. For my birthday I went to see B.A.D. play and some girls from SVRG where there representing. I was completely hooked after the first jam and wanted to get involved as soon as possible. About a week later I went to the rink and bought a cheap pair of skates and started going to open skate. About mid-June I went to my first practice and never looked back.

What kind of skating skills or athletic abilities did you have before starting derby?

I hadn’t been on skates since I was little. I got my first pair when I was 3 years old. We use to go to the local skating rink in Missoula, Montana, until it was closed down. As far as other skills I played basketball and used to dance.

How did you derive your derby name?

One of the skaters that would help us out Little Miss Sunshiner helped come up with the name. Because I was so small I got knocked around and she kept saying I looked like a baby doll being thrown. The Broken part came because I want to keep my nickname BB. Go figure that about a year later I would have two back surgeries and really live up to the name.

What is your primary position?

I play both blocker and jammer.

What is your greatest strength as a skater? What do you contribute most to the team?

My brains and understanding of the game.

What has been your greatest experience on the rink?

My greatest experience was playing my first game after having two back surgeries.

What was your worst derby injury, and how did you earn it?

Sadly, I sprained my ankle while doing spank alley.

Who are your biggest fans?

My family. They have been supportive since day one and continue to be so.

Who do you like to partner up with on the track? Which teammates do you work well with?

I like to partner up with everybody. I can’t think of one skater in particular. I pick different ones based on what skill I want to focus on.

What do you contribute to SVRG *off* the track?

I am the Head of Safety.

How do you spend the non-derby part of your life?

I have no other life right now.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give women interested in playing roller derby?

Be willing to listen and work hard; it does pay off in the end.

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