I like to Pivot because I’m bossy. Seriously (I really am bossy though), Pivoting is some serious business, it’s a huge responsibility to be the person on the team watching everything happen around her and still be able to let everyone know what’s going on in the game. You have to know your strategy, what’s going on, and how to react; all while letting your teammates know the same, in about five seconds.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My mental opinion of myself. I had surgery to replace my torn ACL in my left leg in Feb 2013. Coming back from an injury can be very daunting when you have missed almost a year of practices. You start to tell yourself how much you’ve missed, how much you need to catch up on, how impossible it is or seems.
My daily monologue changed from a “you can do it” to a “can you do it?” Luckily I have a fantastic support system in my teammates, my dojo and in my family. They help bring back the “you CAN do it” monologue. Thanks guys. You are the BEST, and boy am I lucky.
Have the skills required in your “real life” contributed to your experience in roller derby?
I’ve always been pretty bossy, been able to pick up things quickly, and have a can-do attitude. I feel like that’s what I contribute on and off the track. It’s helped immensely with strategy, with coaching, bench managing.
What is your pre derby athletic background? Do you continue these while playing derby?
I am a green belt in Cuong Nhu karate. I was doing karate before I started derby and attend class when I can. It’s such a joy for me and I really feel like I can pull a lot of the practices from karate into derby. Every sport is a mental game, and karate is more than just learning the moves to defend yourself. It’s philosophy can be applied everywhere.
Who is your biggest fan?
My husband and my kids! My husband is an announcer (Mr. Rat) and my kids are always telling me how proud they are of me. They would travel everywhere with me if they could! My Mom comes in a close second; she actually purchased the skates I currently use when I realized I broke my first pair. Go MOM!
How do you find the balance between roller derby and “real” life?
Every single piece of my day is planned to the minute. I have to structure time for work, time for kids, time for hubby and time for derby. I have trouble over-committing – so it’s a daily struggle.
What is you pre-bout ritual?
I’m the league treasurer, so there is a lot of stuff to do before home bout day. The one consistent thing I do no matter the bout day, is have a “breakfast of champions” where I try to eat a little bit of everything. Advice I received from my Sensei before a karate belt test, “fruits, veggies and proteins.”…you name it. I stay away from super sugary stuff and stick with water for the 24 hours before a bout.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Keyes
Have you been wanting to try roller derby but haven’t taken that first stride? Already skating for another league and looking for a change? You’re in luck! BRG is hosting a Summer Recruitment Program from July 13th through August 31st!
New and transferring skaters will be assessed at the end of the 2nd week. There will be a final assessment/cut on after a “scrimmage” on August 31st. Passing skaters will be eligible for teaming and bouting after they complete two league scrimmages.
Practices will be held on Sundays from 8:30 am to 10:30 am and on Tuesdays (alternating time slots) either from 7 pm to 9 pm or 9 pm to 11 pm (the first Tuesday, July 15th will be from 9 pm to 11 pm and switch to 7 pm to 9 pm on July 22nd) at Caln Skating Center (4533 W Lincoln Hwy, Downingtown, PA 19335).
All skaters need to complete this form: http://bit.ly/brgrecruitsummer2014
Let your friends know! Hope to see you on the track!
On June 18th, to kick off a week of international roller derby the Belligerents took on Helsinki Roller Derby’s All Star team the Ninja Turtles known for their fabulous TMNT pants and for being severely under ranked on WFTDA’s rankings list. HRD is listed at 137 as of May 31st, with BRG ranked 49th. It was a highly anticipated match-up by Brandywine fans and international roller derby fans alike.
After both nation’s anthems were played, the game kicked off with Brandywine’s Not-Knotty facing off against Helsinki’s Pygmi. Knotty was able to snatch lead quickly off the
line but was closely trailed by Pygmi who forced the call off with no points gained on either side. A few jams in, fan favorite Skinny Guinea returned to the jamming rotation after sustaining a minor knee injury earlier this month. Still on the mend, she was still able to gain lead jammer status on her first jam off the line. With her BRG blockers shutting down the HRD jammer, she was able to put a few points on the board before calling it off.
Brandywine’s blockers showed some impressive blocking skills throughout the first half, using one another to recycle the HRD jammers to the back of the pack, and bridging back knocked out jammers. Notable moments include several successful last ditch hits from Cutthroat KC and a massive hit on the inside line from Buenos D. A$$. While our girls were certainly working hard, HRD served up some oppressive blocking lead by Tigre Force leading them to take the lead 96-58 at the half.
The second half started similarly to the first with Not Knotty and the rest of the BRG jammers slowly chipping away at Helsinki’s lead. Crash Bansheekoot and Buenos D.A$$ both had monster power jams resulting in several grand slams for both closing the gap 117-126 HRD. In the last jam of the night Crash Banshekoot picked up lead jammer and 10 points before getting called on a cut track just before the final whistles blew. Final score 160-176 Helsinki.
MVP Blocker went to Brandywine’s DeckHerH8er and HRD’s Tigre Force. MVP Jammer awards went to Brandywine’s Crash Banshekoot and Helsinki’s Pygmi.
On the night of Thursday, June 19th, the Belligerents took on their toughest opponent yet: Victorian Roller Derby League. Hailing all the way from Australia, Victorian’s All Stars played not only a full sanctioned bout against our very own Brandywine Belligerents, but also a single period against a mixed team of the Belligerents and a few members from the Brawlers.
VRDL quickly proved that they are a formidable force as the team of Brawlers and Belligerents struggled to get their jammers out of the pack and scoring points. VRDL jammers had quick feet, and jam after jam were able to take lead jammer and call the jam before Brandywine got any points. Ten jams in, Brandywine still had zero points. But Brawler, Merry DeathStar was on the jammer line ready to go.
Though she was up against VRDL’s quick and nimble Mad Mel Arena, Merry Deathstar powered through the pack, claimed the title of lead jammer and scored Brandywine their very first three points! The power team of Ballerinka Barbie, VALociraptor, DeckHerH8er and Anya Alnight were able to hit Mad Mel Arena out of bounds and bridge her back to prevent VRDL from widening their lead. The period ended with a final score of 25 points for Brandywine and 261 points for VRDL.
Then it was time for the real deal! The Belligerents took the track for their sanctioned bout. Things looked much brighter for Brandywine this time around. In the first jam, Not-Knotty was able to break through the pack before Mad Mel Arena and start the game off with a five point lead for Brandywine!
Unfortunately for Brandywine, VRDL blockers Flying Nun Chucker, Screw Barrymore, and Bianca Sciaretta make an almost impenetrable tripod. The Belligerent’s lead didn’t last long. However, there is no giving up for Brandywine! Cutthroat KC and Anya Alnight made a great blocking team against VRDL’s Swish Cariboom as DeckHerH8er repeatedly swooped in with the big hits. The first period ended with a score of 29 to 170, VRDL.
The second period was just as tough as the first. Crash Bansheekoot had to face one of VRDL’s tripods with Biceptual turned around backwards. Eventually Crashs’ hard driving paid off but VRDL’s jammer, Giles, was able to call off the jam before Crash scored any points. The Belligerent blockers did their best to hold the VRDL jammers and were successful at recycling back up to the front to continue playing the jammer. However, VRDL jammers had amazing footwork and speed and were usually able to escape Brandywine’s grasp. The game ended with a final score of 47 points for Brandywine and 379 points for Victorian.
The blocker MVPs were Biceptual for VRDL and DeckHerH8er for BRG. The jammer MVPs were Mad Mel Arena for VRDL and Not-Knotty for BRG. It was indeed a difficult bout for Brandywine, but no challenge is too big for BRG.