Name: Harlee Hooters
Team: Danger Dolls
Position: Pivot, blocker, jammer
Seasons with BRG: 5
You’ve been with BRG from the very beginning. What have your experiences on the track taught you about what’s really important in this sport?
“Learning to trust my teammates and realizing that they are really there without having to ask, on and off the track. A lot of times, you can just glance at someone on the track and they already know what you’re thinking, and that’s a pretty awesome feeling.”
Veterans like you are often role models for newer players. Where has YOUR inspiration come from?
“Since I started playing roller derby with a brand new league, I really had a lot of inspiration from some of the Fountain City girls: Fire Wyer, Mel Breakdown, Lil Red Wrecking Hood, and everyone else. Those girls just kind of stand out as I think about this. I remember these girls being around in the very beginning coming to a lot of our practices and showing us some very basic skills. and you watched them and they were amazing. As the seasons went on, we would get new girls coming in and you would get inspired from watching them all of a sudden understand skills that they had been working on, and it made me feel good. I was able to help them, so it inspired me to do better and push myself more.”
Any memorable injuries over the years?
“Do bruises count? I’ve had my fair share of those. No real injuries for me, and I would like to keep it that way. As for our league, we’ve had a some broken legs, ankles, collar bones, busted lips, and nasty knee injuries.”
Favorite derby memory?
“Memories… wow, there’s so many. The first one that comes to mind is our first bout, that first jam, those butterflies, the first point I scored. Those feelings and emotions, I don’t think they will ever go away. Even playing in the championship bout a few weeks ago, I had those same butterflies until that first whistle blows, it’s all kinds of feeling.
My MVP, I got that after the bout in April of 2013. I had just came back from having my son in March. It was only four weeks after. I think I had so much pent-up energy and aggression from not being able to skate for so long that I just came back and kicked butt. Not sure where that woman came from but she is a bad ass.
Our first Nationals that we went to. We came in as the underdogs and we went through and kind of kicked everybody’s butt. We played hard and spent some time with everyone and just bonded. In the end we placed third. We had a blast.
Gosh, it makes me happy to look back at the last five years and see what awesome things BRG has done. I am proud of the things that I have accomplished and the memories that go along with them.”
Roller derby changes every life it touches. How has it changed yours?
“I have really learned to speak up for myself and not be afraid to say things. I feel like I have come out of a shell and became a new person with derby. I have so many more friends now, and I can count on them for anything.”