Category Archives: Featured Skaters

Featured Skaters, Demystified

One of the most common questions I’ve gotten this season so far has been, quite simply, “How do you decide who your ‘featured skaters’ are each month?” Readers (and writers) of KC Derby Digest can, month after month, name half a dozen ladies in each league deserving of such recognition, and it’s been brought to my attention that the process needs a bit of demystifying.

Well, you’re in luck. Not only is the “process” quite minimal, it’s also very flexible and leaves nearly everyone in the league eligible, not just the superstars. True, we’ve had some very high-profile Track Rats and Dir-T Dianas featured this season, but we’ve also introduced a couple of very promising new rookies named Cuppa Crazy and Buffy Slammers who were no less deserving.

Having said all this, here are the rules of eligibility for KC Derby Digest‘s featured skater of the month, followed by a quick look at how we go about selecting them.


1. She should be an active, full-time skater in good standing with the league.

For our purposes, an “active” skater is anyone who’s not out on injury or medical leave of any kind. “Full-time” is really a misnomer, because there’s no such thing as a part-time derby girl; this just means any player who isn’t All-Star-only. This season, Kansas City has no All-Star-only skaters.

“Good standing” refers to her eligibility to skate in that month’s bout. Sometimes skaters are ineligible to play simply because they’ve missed too many practices that month, and that can be difficult for us to know because we’re not always privy to that information from the outside. But we’ll do our best.

None of this, of course, is meant to diminish the contribution of those ladies whose injuries have temporarily kept them off wheels. Edith Myfist, for instance, was injured back in November but continues to design game programs, flyers, logos, and advertisements for Dead Girl Derby and the Blacksnake Rollergirls‘ upcoming events — not to mention KC Derby Digest‘s own logos on our Facebook page.


Logo by Edith My-motherflippin’-fist.

Featured Skaters, though, should be currently playing and actively skating in time for that month’s home game. This means that once KCRW‘s season progresses past the Rink of Fire championship, only All-Star and Plan B players will be considered, because they’re the only ones skating. Any All-Star-only players who weren’t eligible prior to the Rink of Fire will be eligible from that point on.


2. The league should have a full season of regularly-scheduled home games.

Several people wondered why there was no Featured Banked Beauty after their successful home opener on April 21st. Very simply: that was the only game the Beauties had on the horizon at that time, and a featured skater “for the month of April” sounds a little silly if there’s not one for any other month the entire season. She might as well be Skater of the Year in that case, and that’s really not where we’re going with this.


“You came in first out of one — nice!”

You may have noticed that we haven’t named a Featured Butcher for the same reason. We can’t wait to begin featuring players from these phenomenal leagues, too, once their schedules become a bit more fleshed out. In the meantime, we’ll keep on promoting their games and events, same as we always have.


3. A Featured Skater will only be chosen during months in which the league holds a home game.

This is kind of a corollary to #2 above, but I thought it was worth mentioning. It’s mainly an issue of logistics. We try to piggyback that month’s column on that month’s game, and we also make a point to get a handful of new photos of the Featured Skater before the game begins. Obviously, none of that is possible if they don’t have a home game that month.

KCRW, for some damn reason, didn’t have a home game at all in May, so there wasn’t a Featured Roller Warrior either.


You and me both, buddy.

So far, no league has held more than one home game in a given month, so we’ll keep dodging that bullet for as long as we can.


So now what?

We began the 2012 season with the idea in mind that each team in each league would be represented once; after that, all bets are off. At this point, each of Dead Girl Derby‘s teams has had a Featured Skater at least once, but only three of KCRW‘s four teams have been represented thus far because their fourth game is still a couple of weeks away. Since the Featured Rollers Warriors so far have been a Susan, a Vixen, and a Dorothy, you can safely assume that a deserving Knockout will be next in line.

Once all teams have been represented, no more consideration will be given to team affiliation, except that we probably won’t repeat teams two months in a row. But even that’s not set in stone.

Featured skaters won’t be chosen based on performance, points scored, or other stats. We started off with a few of the more high-profile ladies to get the ball rolling, but from this point forward, no further consideration will be given to a player’s veteran or rookie status.

In other words…

If you’re active and eligible to skate in a league with a full-season home schedule, you may as well accept the possibility that you could be the next Featured Skater on KC Derby Digest. That’s really the long and short of it.

We will contact our intended Feature Skater no later than Thursday prior to Game Day. We will usually contact her via Facebook, and that’s simply because Facebook is a popular, hopefully non-intrusive way of getting in touch with someone we’ve likely never met before.

If the player agrees to be featured on KC Derby Digest — fortunately, no one has declined so far — we will send her the same short list of standard questions we ask all our Featured Skaters. Ideally, she’ll respond with her answers no later than that Sunday. We will try and catch up with her before the bouts begin that Saturday or Sunday night (whichever applies) to say hello and get a few new photos for the feature.

We’ll also make a point to get a few extra photos of her during her bout, and then we’ll post the feature first thing Monday morning… even if her “featured month” is over by then, like it was with Buffy in June.


Suggestions?

If you know of a particularly awesome skater deserving of our monthly feature on KC Derby Digest, we’d love to hear from you! E-mail KC Carr at kcderbydigest [at] gmail.com and let us know why you think your favorite lady on eight wheels should be featured next. We take all feedback seriously, but please limit your suggestion to one skater for these purposes.

Featured Roller Warrior – June 2012


Our featured Roller Warrior for the month of June is Buffy Slammers!

Name: Buffy Slammers
Team: The Dreadnought Dorothys
Number: 21
Position(s): Blocker, occasional Jammer

How she discovered KCRW:
My best friend came up to me one day and said we should look into playing derby. I was like, “Are you crazy? Who plays roller derby?” She begged me for years to at least look into it. Finally, I did. Been hooked ever since then.

Origin of her derby name:
My favorite show is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her name in the show is Buffy Summers. I thought Buffy Slammers sounded pretty bad-ass.

Favorite derby moment:
There are too many to decide. I just love derby so much, and I love seeing the different strategies and skill levels of the teams across the country. I feel like every bout I watch is awesome.

Favorite skater:
Kelley Young. It’s kind of embarrassing, but every time I think something is too hard, I ask myself, would Kelley Young stop here?

Derby philosophy:
Derby is one of the best things that has happened to me. It has made me a stronger, more determined person. I used to be the type of person who would give up as soon as things got hard. I’d tell people that I pushed my hardest, even if I didn’t. But derby has taught me to push through anything, physically or mentally. I just tell myself, just one more lap. Once I hit that lap, OK, one more! Just keep going. It’s worth the pain and sweat and I’ve never been more proud of anything I’ve accomplished in my entire life.

Featured Dead Girl – June 2012

KC Derby Digest‘s featured Dead Girl for the month of June is the incredible Roxy Lawless!

Name: Roxy Lawless
Team: The Shotgun Sheilas
Number: G-26
Position(s): Blocker, Bump

How she discovered Dead Girl Derby:
When I started in derby, I played for the Springfield Roller Girls, and one of the skaters, Rusty Razorskates, practiced with DGD when she was in Kansas City. I knew I would eventually move to KC and when I did, I wanted to play with DGD; I liked the craziness of the then-OSDA and now MADE rules. I moved to KC in August 2010, and started with Dead Girl in October.

Origin of her derby name:
In Springfield, I started as Heddy Hither, but at my first bout, the announcer introduced me as Heidi Hitler. I liked it, so I kept it. Here, however, DGD already had a High D, so I needed to change it. A friend suggested Roxy and I added Lawless, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Favorite derby moment:
I have three favorite derby moments. The first is the night I met my husband at one of DGD’s infamous post-wedding bridal showers/bachelorette parties. He played for the Cowtown Butchers and hung around the derby scene, and it was just fate for us to meet that particular night. The second is when my mom and aunt came to watch me play in July 2011. My family lives eight hours away and I only get to see them one or two times a year. This was the first time they got to see me play derby, and coincidentally, it was the last game I played until this June. The next week, the doctor confirmed a little bundle of joy would be gracing our presence the following March. My third favorite moment is the day my husband and I got to meet our little future derby girl, Lexi Lawless-Floor Play. (And I expect her to play derby since she was on skates and hitting before she was even born.)

Favorite skater:
My favorite skater is Pippi Strongblocking. Pippi is an all-around amazing skater and such a great leader, mentor, and teacher. I have learned so much from her in the past two years. Dir-T Diana also ranks up in my book pretty high; she is always in a good mood, no matter how she feels or how little sleep she’s had. Plus, Dir-T makes skating look effortless. Lastly, I want to mention my derby wife, Sha’Ter’ra Thunder. She was out for a couple of months last year with a broken ankle and missed the first draft. When she came back, it was with a vengeance. It’s her determination I’m channeling this year and I’m pretty excited to play against her next month!

Derby philosophy:
Ya just gotta keep on rollin’! Nearly all week, I’m a wife, a mother, a boss, and an employee, but when I’m at derby, I get to be ME. I’ve heard rumors there was a bet whether or not I would come back (so I hope someone won something!), but in my mind, there was never any doubt I would be skating again. I live 30+ miles away, I can really only make one night a week, unless I tote Lexi with me, and the hits get a little harder the older I get, but derby is a part of me. I’m so thankful for a husband who is supportive of me ad understands that I need derby in order to stay sane and be nice person.

Featured Dead Girl – May 2012

KC Derby Digest‘s featured Dead Girl for the month of May is Callie Ente!

Name: Callie Ente
Team: The Royal Pains
Number: F451

Position(s): Bump or Pivot
“I like the versatility of the Pivot, being able to do anything. But I also like hanging out behind the pack and doing my best to keep their jammer back.”

How she discovered Dead Girl Derby:
“I discovered DGD through Slim KarSmashian. She attended the first recruitment night for the 2011 season and told me about it. I was intrigued, so I went to the second recruitment and was hooked.”

Origin of her derby name:
“I struggled quite a bit with a name… nothing sounded right, nothing felt right. Several were tossed around, and one of my close friends suggested Callie Ente. So I put it up for vote on Facebook, and it beat out Blaze Roller by just a few votes.”

Favorite derby moment:
“My favorite derby moment occurred after this April’s game. We lost (badly), but it didn’t ruin our spirit. We picked our heads up and congratulated the Lethals on a game well-played by both teams. We accepted our loss with dignity and pride. Win or lose, we are Royal Pains. This reminded me of why I love being a Pain, and why our fans love us. You may ask why I didn’t pick the Pains’ one win from last year for this moment… sure, we’d like to win, but it’s not what drives us to skate. That’s why the reaction our team had to that massive loss was so heartwarming for me.”

Favorite skater:
“You’re going to make me pick just one?? Well, that’s impossible. Stabby Doo was the first veteran to talk to me and took me under her wing from day one, which made me feel less nervous. I admire Slim KarSmashian‘s determination and dedication, and how she lets nothing keep her down. Dixie Danger is an all-around fantastic skater and has an amazing spirit and ability — especially when paired with a blue 80s style prom dress. Every skater inspires me in some fashion, whether it’s their speed, their skill, or their drive to skate.”

Derby philosophy:
“Derby is my therapy from the stresses of life. It’s active, it’s fun, and it’s good for the soul. And seriously, who wouldn’t want to surround themselves with strong, beautiful women in booty shorts & fishnets?”

Featured Roller Warrior – April 2012

KC Derby Digest‘s featured Roller Warrior for the month of April is Track Rat!

Name: Track Rat
Team: The Victory Vixens
Number: 69

Position(s): Jammer
“Although I like to pretend that I know what I’m doing as a blocker, and I can sometimes convince myself that I am taking care of business….until I get to the bench and people are laughing hysterically at me and my lack of blocker skills.”

How she discovered KCRW:
“I was given a pair of tickets for my birthday and fell in love instantly. I will never forget my first time watching Snot Rocket jam, my mouth hanging wide open, I turned to my friend and said, ‘I have to do this.’ Six months later, I was drafted to the Victory Vixens and the rest is history!!”

Origin of her derby name:
“My derby name is based on my nickname growing up. My initials are R.A.T., so my family has called me Rat for as long as I can remember. I went with the name Track Rat because I thought it described me pretty well — a race car that isn’t the prettiest thing in the world, rough around the edges, no bells and whistles, beat all to H.E. double-hockey-sticks and back, but it’s fast and gets the job done.”

Favorite derby moment:
“My favorite derby moment is actually a group of moments — it’s any time I am skating in front of our fans at Municipal. When something awesome happens and the entire crowd goes completely nuts — a big hit, or a jammer does some cool move — to be out on the track and hear the reaction of the fans, it’s the most amazing feeling in the world. They may be cheering for something the team I’m playing did, it doesn’t matter, it still gives me goosebumps to know the fans are engaged and connected to us as skaters, it’s both humbling and empowering at the same time — which is why it’s so incredible!”

Favorite skater:
Kelley Young, hands down. She is one of the best jammers in the country/world, but would never let you know it if you didn’t already. So many players get an ego that outshines their skating abilities, but Kelley’s lack [of ego] is a reminder to me (and countless others) that your skating can speak volumes so your mouth doesn’t have to.”

Derby philosophy:
“There are so many quotes, mantras and other feel-good reminders about the Dos and Don’ts of roller derby that it’s hard to choose just one! I think the one that applies most to me (as my teammates will attest to) is about getting in your own head, beating yourself down after a bad jam, or letting a bad call from a ref screw up your game. This happens to me more often than I care to admit, and it’s something that I am constantly battling. I just try to tell myself that if I am too far in my own head, there’s not very much of me left to be out on the track, and that’s where my team needs me.”

Featured Dead Girl – April 2012

KC Derby Digest‘s featured Dead Girl for the month of April is Cuppa Crazy!

Name: Cuppa Crazy
Team: The Lovely Lethals
Number: 10-31
Position(s): Jammer, Blocker, Pivot

How she discovered Dead Girl Derby:
“I was actually friends with a former ref of KCRW. When DGD was formed, he went to them and I started coming to games. Soon, a lot of my friends became involved and tried to get me to join, but I was having none of it. I thought they were crazy. I finally came to the last recruitment night and got on skates for the first time in years. I am very introverted, so I was bound and determined to try something social and interesting and stick with it. Derby fit the bill and now I can’t imagine not being involved!”

Origin of her derby name:
“Well, FiftyGallonDrumma Crazy would not fit on the jersey, so I made it more dainty.”

Favorite derby moment:
“I don’t remember when exactly it was, but the moment I was no longer afraid of coming to practice and being comfortable around this many people. This is an awesome group of women that I am proud to have come to know. They make it easy to love this sport and love them!”

Favorite skater:
“I couldn’t name just one, so I would have to say Pippi Strongblocking because she is awesome in all aspects of the game; Fire Wyer, she is a great skater with a good attitude; and for obvious reasons and some bias, Slim Karsmashian. She took me in and made me feel welcome right off the bat and now she is my derby wife!”

Derby philosophy:
“Keep at it and have fun.”

All that's fit to digest from the world of Kansas City roller derby!