In addition to being superheroes on the track, some of our rollergirls are supermoms! Our kids have grown up with roller derby as part of their lives. They often get a backstage pass to practices and bouts. Many of our daughters even play for The Atlanta Derby Brats. With this inside knowledge, our kids have a lot to say about roller derby and their amazing moms.
Alicia Brains and Helena
Photo Credit: Tim Moxley
Helena, age 4, Daughter of Alicia Brains (Apocalypstix)
What does it mean to be a rollergirl? To be true. And to not hit on purpose.
What are the rules of roller derby? I don’t know.
What’s your favorite thing about your mom playing roller derby? Watching her.
What’s your least favorite thing about your mom playing roller derby? When you hit and when you fall.
What do you do to encourage your mom during bouts? I raise my hands and I cheer.
Without league founder Tanya Hyde’s vision and hard work ten years ago, the Atlanta Rollergirls might never have come into existence. We shudder to think it! In the coming months, we’ll be talking to the founding members of ARG about how the league and roller derby have grown and changed over the last decade. Who better to get this jam started than Tanya Hyde herself?
Sports…I played one season of basketball in junior high and, well, I just wasn’t that good. I felt that if I wasn’t the best, it wasn’t worth doing. And with Mary Alice and Becky on the team, the perpetual all-stars, I was never going to be the best. I wasn’t the “athletic type” they were—you know, lean, fast, agile. I was the mediocre guard at best that played a couple of times a game. And I was short, so, you know, baskets were out of the picture for me. I went back to my piano and ballet classes—I just wasn’t built for sports.
But, then I discovered roller derby and that firmly held belief of mine started to change. I had a friend in Austin who was involved with the Texas Rollergirls. I watched as she trained, chose her “derby name,” and posted her adventures to her blog. I loved looking at the rollergirls’ Website and I saw so many not-your-typical-athletic-ladies participating. These women looked like me! I was ready to give team sports another shot. However, I soon discovered there was no roller derby league in Atlanta. “Well,” I thought, “I’ll just have to make one!” (more…)
In a bout characterized by huge hits and extremely fast packs, the Denim Demons brought the pain to the Toxic Shocks, but the Shocks’ deep jammer bench proved beneficial in bringing home the win. Kicking things off, perennial favorite blocker Queen Loseyateefa took the jammer star and hit her way into lead jammer over Jammunition, putting the first 2 points on the board for the Demons. Not to be outdone, Jammunition came back strong, and along with Nutella Ferrero and Trouble MakeHer, the Shocks took the lead. In this tight game, the Shocks’ Rebel Yellow consistently hit the Demon jammers out, and then recycled them to the back of the pack with almost military precision. The score was 61-50 with the Shocks in the lead at the half. The Demons were determined to capitalize on Ozzie Kamakazi and Switchblade Siouxsie’s power—both laying devastating hits on the Shocks’ jammers. However, the Shocks’ ability to send in fresh jamming legs time and again gave them the advantage and the win.
With a score that could have gone either way for most of the bout, the Apocalypstix and Sake Tuyas brought the intensity for the season opener. The Stix came off the whistle hard, using strong walls to hold the Sakes scoreless for the first several jams, running up a 25-0 lead. The Sakes regrouped and a huge 29-0 jam by Sake jammer, Hollicidal, put the ninjas ahead. A combination of stellar blocking by Sakes ICU Dead and Amelia Scareheart and swift jamming by Wheelin’ Jennings and Hella Blitzgerald turned the tables, and the Sakes ran up a score of 79-46 at the half. At the top of the second half, Axtual Malice, Rudy Huxtabrawl, and Slamborghini created the tight walls the Stix are known for, and jammers The Ruffian and The Boss wouldn’t take no for an answer—the Stix mounted a come back with a score of 80-82 with the Sakes still in the lead. However, Hollicidal was able to put 30 points on the board, which was just the beginning of a 46-0 scoring run to secure the Sake’s victory.
I started roller derby in January of 2012. I was living in Michigan at the time and joined so I could make friends and get back to the athletic competition with which I grew up. I played with the Killamazoo Derby Darlins for one and a half seasons. I was playing with their charter team when I broke my ankle, which required surgery and being sidelined for months.
During the time I was out on injury leave, I found myself with a new job offer in Atlanta, GA. It was a job I knew I couldn’t turn down. My first thought after how difficult it was going to be to leave my actual family behind in Michigan was how difficult it would be to also leave my derby family. I am a very proud KDD Alum. Killamazoo taught me everything. I wanted to build on that knowledge when I arrived in Atlanta. As the move approached, my other emotions were nerves and uncertainty, but also excitement. (more…)
“The first rule of this fight club is ‘Don’t get pregnant,’” TagHer Lily advised on the wall of my Fresh Meat Facebook group in fall 2011. A few months later, I found myself posting a picture of a positive pregnancy test to that very same wall. Though I’d been enjoying the “benefits” of being a newlywed, having married in March of the same year, I never expected to get pregnant so quickly. Being pregnant at the wrong time is kind of a theme in my life. I welcomed my eldest son into the world when I was just 17 years old. My boys were 13 and 17 when I became Fresh Meat; finally self-sufficient enough to leave home alone while I pursued a few of my own interests. Still, I was overjoyed to be having another little one. The only hard part would be leaving skating behind. (more…)
I joined ARG’s Rec League about a year and a half ago, in its second-ever session. I started skating at a time when I wasn’t sure I would ever be good at anything. Every hobby I’d ever picked up had ended in the frustration that comes from being unable to move past mediocrity after a few months’ dedication. Just ask the piles of yarn languishing in some dark corner of my office, or the numerous sketchbooks I’ve managed to fill only with good intentions. Roller derby, I thought, could be my “thing.” For now, we’ll disregard the fact that I’d never had any sort of athletic ambitions before.
Even in my excitement about getting started, I had reservations about my level of commitment given my less–than-stellar track record. What if I got hurt? What if I hated it? Why are these knee pads so expensive? But the one that weighed most heavily was, “What if I’m no good at this?” I’d had trouble enjoying things I couldn’t master in the past, and roller derby could very well be another addition to that list. What the heck, I was going to do it. (more…)
The undefeated Toxic Shocks and the powerhouse Denim Demons faced up in the final bout of the 2013 Atlanta Roller Derby season, and it was a nail-biter from the first jam. The Demons and Shocks had already matched up once this year, in both teams very first bouts of the season, which the Shocks decisively won. You can bet that the Demons had every intention of returning the favor by serving up the Shocks their first loss of the year, and defending their ownership of the championship trophy (which they won from the Sake Tuyas in 2012). From the first whistle, it was clear that it would be close. Both of these teams are stacked with All-star and B-team jammers and blockers, and it showed. Shock jammers Jammunition, Jean-Juke Picard, Trouble MakeHer, and Tart Breaker (in her final bout before retirement) slammed through the likes of Ozzie Kamakazi, Queen Loseyateefa, and Switchblade Siouxsie. It wasn’t easy, but they got through, and the Shocks had lead jam for much of the first half. The legendary Demon Wild Cherri reminded us all that she is a true double threat, as she blocked and jammed her through the Shock packs, and the ever-reliable Demon jammers ChokeCherry and Hate Ashbury never quit. The immovable Shock wall of green lived up to its fame, as Alassin Sane, Rebel Yellow, and Desi Scarnaz made the Demons work hard for every point. It was always close, and at one point the Demons were within twenty points of the Shocks — a mere power jam away from the lead. In the end the ladies in blue never quite caught up to the Shocks, who brought home their first Championship trophy since 2010.
MVPs were Canna Whoopass in her last game before retirement (blocking), and Tart Breaker (jammer) for the Toxic Shocks. Demon MVPs were ChokeCherry (jamming), and Ozzie Kamakazi (blocking).
It was their last home bout of the season, and it showed from the first jam. The Sakes and the Stix both came out fighting in the 2013 Grudge Match, determined to win 3rd place in the league. For the Sakes, it was a chance to win their first league bout of the season, while the Stix looked to repeat their only win of the season, which was over the ninjas themselves. The Sakes came out jamming strong, with All-Stars Hollicidal (in her last game for the Sakes) and The Merchant of Menace tearing through Stix walls, and crowd favorite Wheelin’ Jennings juking up a storm. Rookie Sake jammer Fullatrix Lestrange showed how much she’s improved this season, and grabbed lead jammer over and over again for the Sakes — keep an eye on her in the 2014 season! It wasn’t all fun and games for the Sakes though, as Stix blockers Rudy Huxtabrawl and Axtual Malice landed some solid hits on the ladies in red. For their part, the Sake blockers set up slow, strong walls from the get go. Nora Gretz, Bruze Orman, and Belle of the Brawl in pink worked tirelessly to get through the likes of Agent Maulder, ICU Dead, and retiring-blocker Shannihilator but they never quite caught the Sakes, who were in the lead from the first jam. The Sakes dominated until the end, and capped off the 2013 season with a win.
MVPs were Fullatrix Lestrange (jammer) and Shannihilator (blocker) for the Sakes, and Nora Gretz (jamming) and Rudy Huxtabrawl (blocking) for the Stix.
The Toxic Shocks and Sake Tuyas have a long history of fighting for, or in, the Championship Bout, and it’s always a close call. Last year the Sakes kept the Shocks from the Champ Bout with a close win, and the year before that the Sakes took the 2011 Championship over the Shocks by a mere 7 points. As you may imagine, both teams went into this bout with their historical match-ups in mind — and the undefeated Shocks were determined to not allow the Sakes to keep them from the Champ Bout again. In one of the most exciting games of the 2013 season, the Sakes almost dashed the dreams of the girls in green, again — but the Shocks held strong. The legendary slow and tight Shock defensive wall held back some of the best jammers in the league, while All-Star jamming from Shocks Jammunition, Trouble Maker, and Jean-Juke Picard put the Shocks in the lead. Penalty trouble caught up to the Shocks a few times during the bout, and Hollicidal and the Merchant of Menace took advantage of power jams for the Sakes. The score gap diminished quickly in the second half, with the Sakes coming within 1 point of the Shocks. It was anyone’s game at that point, and the crowd knew it! But — a couple of power jams (in the Shocks’ favor) later, the girls in green were in the lead for the win. The Toxic Shocks are going to the Champ Bout, folks. Don’t miss it!
Players of the game were Wheelin’ Jennings (jamming), and Agent Maulder (blocking) for the Sakes, and Jammunition (jamming) and Canna Whoopass (blocking) for the Shocks.