Rollergirls host final 2012 home bout
by Anna Oakes
Doors open at 6 p.m., and the bout — promoted as “Fifty Shades of Black & Blue,” a take on the popular novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” — takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door and $5 with a student ID. Kids 12 and under are admitted for free.
Only in its second year of competition, the team is currently undefeated with a 6-0 record and three bouts remaining on the 2012 schedule. The team wrapped up its inaugural season with an 8-3 record.
The Boone-based Rollergirls will face the Carolina Bootleggers of Raleigh for the first time. The Bootleggers are the B team of the Carolina Rollergirls. Established derby teams have A (most advanced) and B teams. The Appalachian Rollergirls have only one competitive squad and generally have been competing with teams at the B level.
The Carolina Rollergirls All-Star team is currently ranked 21st in the nation in the Derby News Network’s power rankings.
“The B team is obviously not the All-Star team, but they practice with the All-Stars every day,” said Jennele Vaquera, aka Coco Janel. “They should be a very well developed B team.”
A July 17 press release from the Rollergirls said the team “is anticipating this bout to be one of the hardest and most difficult on their 2012 schedule.”
In a roller derby bout, five players from each team — one jammer and four blockers — race around a flat track on quad roller skates. The object is for the jammers to pass or lap opposing players. The blockers try to protect their jammer, who is the only one who can score points, while simultaneously trying to knock down the opponent’s jammer.
Rules prohibit elbowing, tripping, punching, back blocking and cutting the track. Five or more referees are on the rink during each bout.
The Appalachian Rollergirls are coached by Scott Herman, owner of Muscle Works Massage in Boone and a former competitive speed skater.
“ARG is a skater-owned and skater-run team,” said ARG team member Shannon Hampton, aka Diesel Pusher, in a statement. “Our coach is amazing, and he reminds us that ARG is our team and that above all the workouts, training and education, respecting our team and each other is extremely important to us. We are all volunteers and play for love of the game, fun, exercise and to raise money for charity as well as people in the community.”
The nonprofit organization recently paid off the money owed on its derby track floor but must continue to raise the money for equipment, travel and rentals of the Holmes Convocation Center. In addition, the Rollergirls raise money for local charities and good causes.
A portion of proceeds from Saturday’s bout will benefit the family of Brady Bakken, a Valle Crucis Elementary School student diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma.
The team hopes for a good turnout at the Holmes Center this Saturday.
“The more tickets we sell, the more money we can give back to the community,” said ARG President Jennifer Pillow, aka Rolli Cannoli. “Once you see roller derby, you will definitely want to come back.”
For more information about the Appalachian Rollergirls, visit http://www.appalachianrollergirls.com.