Category Archives: Interviews

Featured Skater — June 2022

Our Featured Skater for the month of June is CleoSmashYa of the Shotgun Sheilas!

Name: CleoSmashYa
Team(s): Shotgun Sheilas, Public Enemies
Number: 1030
Position(s): Jammer, pivot
Seasons with FCRD: 2


Q: How did you come to be involved with Fountain City Roller Derby?

“In my early twenties, I used to inline skate on ramps and transition at skate parks. So when one of my ex-coworkers introduced me to roller derby, I knew this was something I had to be a part of. I get to skate and hit people?! Heck yeah!”


Q: Explain the origin of your derby name.

“I’ve always been obsessed with Egypt since I was a tiny girl. I’d read every book I could get my hands on, tried to study hieroglyphics, and wanted to be an archeologist. So fast forward to my early thirties when I did the study on my family’s lineage, and with the help of an ancestry test, I found out I was 12% Moroccan/Egyptian. I was beyond stoked; hence, CleoSmashya was born, based on a powerful Egyptian Queen.”

She’s actually on her way back UP in this shot, not on her way down.

Q: Roller derby changes every life it touches. How has it changed yours?

“I don’t know where to start… I could go on forever.

Derby has saved me. At a time when I had very little family and no community to fall back on, derby fell into my lap. The universe knew I needed a community to lean on and give back to. I have built friendships that are closer than family. I know that derby has helped me blossom into a strong and powerful woman. I have found my voice, worth, and belonging. The derby community has helped me find out a lot about myself, for which I’m forever grateful.”

Q: What makes CleoSmashYa tick? What keeps you going in this crazy love we call roller derby?

“I think knowing I’m a part of something bigger than myself keeps me going. Knowing my teammates are out there giving their all, and making holes and protecting me, makes me want to go even harder. I don’t want to let them down! I am only as good as we are as a whole.

If I could play and sell roller derby for a living, I’d be fantastic.”


To see more of CleoSmashYa, the Shotgun Sheilas, and all the incredible action Fountain City Roller Derby has to offer throughout the year, join us on Instagram, follow us on Twitter, and check out our photo albums on Smugmug.

Thank You, Coach Wyatt

This weekend, as the Shotgun Sheilas captured their fifth Fountain City Roller Derby house championship, the legendary Coach Wyatt announced she would be stepping down as head coach of the Black & Grey.

We caught up with Coach Wyatt after Saturday night’s game to get her thoughts on derby retirement, the 2022 season, and coming back from COVID after two years on the sidelines:


“Coming out of COVID, I was worried. I didn’t know what derby looked like after two-plus years away. But the second we had our roster, the hard work began for the Sheilas.

From the vets down to the newbies, everyone bought into the team and trusted each other. Aneeda Hurtcha has always been our rock, our leader, and together, we all built something that I think is pretty special. They fought for, and earned, this championship.

Saying I’m proud of the Sheilas (and to be a Sheila) is an understatement—not just this roster, but all that came before. I’ve been a Sheila a long time, and I give credit to roller derby for much of the life that I have. It’s bittersweet, but I couldn’t have scripted it better, going out on a three-peat.”

Coach Wyatt

A Thank-You

There’s really no way to properly and completely thank someone like Coach Wyatt for everything she’s brought to the league, but we can sure try.

Many people these days don’t even realize she was originally a Deadly Siren waaaay back in 2011 before KC Derby Digest was even born. Her derby name was Attorney Outlaw.

We were there, we just weren’t taking pictures in those days.

The Sirens even faced off against the Lethals for the trophy that year, although the Lethals came out on top.

In the years that followed—beginning in 2012, under Coach Wyatt’s leadership—the Shotgun Sheilas would play in the championship game every single season there was one with no exceptions:

  • 2012 vs. Lovely Lethals (Sheilas win)
  • 2013 vs. Royal Pains (Sheilas lose)
  • 2014 vs. Royal Pains (Sheilas win)
  • 2015 vs. Royal Pains (Sheilas lose)
  • 2016 vs. Lovely Lethals (Sheilas lose)
  • 2017 vs. Royal Pains (Sheilas lose)
  • 2018 vs. Deadly Sirens (Sheilas win)
  • 2019 vs. Deadly Sirens (Sheilas win)
  • 2020 — no champion (COVID)
  • 2021 — no champion (COVID)
  • 2022 vs. Lovely Lethals (Sheilas win)

That’s leadership. That’s dedication. That’s a commitment to excellence you can’t buy.

And that’s who Coach Wyatt is to this league: one of the most beloved and well-respected players and coaches to ever take the track in Kansas City—a go-getter who’s gone and gotten, simple as that.

Taking nothing away from their incredible skaters and assistant coaches, I think we can all agree that the Shotgun Sheilas owe their dynasty in great part to the unmatched talents and relentless pursuit of perfection Coach Wyatt has demonstrated over the last decade.

We will certainly miss her intensity and laser focus trackside, but we look forward to cheering on the Sheilas (and all the Fountain City teams) right next to her in the stands in the coming seasons.

Thank you, Coach.

For absolutely everything.

Featured Dead Girl – September 2014


Our Featured Dead Girl for September is
Fire Wyer of the Untouchables!

Name: Fire Wyer
Teams: Untouchables, Fountain City Travel Team, MADE in USA
Number: 88
Position(s): Bump, Jammer, Pivot
Seasons with Dead Girl Derby: 4


How did you discover Dead Girl Derby?
“Honestly, I was debating on KCRW for years and would never get the courage to just do it. I grew up skating and my dad was a huge part of my skating days and he wanted me to do derby. He passed away 10-3-10, and about a week later I found out about DGD and thought, “what the heck, I guess I will go watch a practice.” I felt like it was home the first night and felt like my dad has led me there!”


Explain the origin of your derby name.
“This was probably the hardest thing about derby. I spent many nights trying to figure this out. I knew I was getting married and I really wanted to use my maiden name in my derby name (Wyer). I threw around Barb Wyer, Live Wyer, Wyer Hang-her, and they were all taken on the register. Colin Mayhem (former DGD announcer) said, “Hey you should be Fire Wyer.” Well, it stuck! So there you have it.. FIRE WYER! 88 has always been my favorite number, and when I raced go-karts it was my number.”


Who inspires you on the track?
“I have so many… I really want to be just like Badonka Boom when I grow up! I also admire Texas Outlaw because I saw her come to recruitment the first night and didn’t have a clue how to stand on skates (love you), and within the same season she was jamming! Super amazing transformation. Ally Cap-One is another girl that has always tried to keep me in line. As a teammate, she would always be there to make sure I was keeping my cool and bring me down to earth if I would happen to travel away, and now as a coach, she is there once again to keep me skating a straight line!”


How has roller derby changed your life?
“I would have to say derby has really has taught me what teamwork really means. I have met some of the best friends I could have met! Its taught me to allow myself to have me-time, settle down, and take care of myself.”


What is it about roller derby that brings out the best in Fire Wyer?
“It really allows me to be ME. I can just cut loose and be myself. I love to belt out at the top of my lungs and sing whatever song is in my head. I can’t carry a tune and I sound like crap, but I don’t care. It has allowed me to come out of my comfort zone. Before derby, I would have NEVER dressed like this! I get to just do whatever my heart allows me to do. THATS FIRE WYER — be who I want to be.”

To see more of Fire Wyer and all the Dead Girls in action, visit our photo albums on Smugmug, like us on Facebook, and check out our newly-launched Pinterest and Instagram pages.

Featured Dead Girl – August 2014


Our Featured Dead Girl for August is 10acious V!

Name: 10acious V
Teams: The Royal Pains
Number: BAMF
Position(s): Jammer, Pivot, Blocker
Seasons with Dead Girl Derby: 3


How did you discover Dead Girl Derby?
“I really wanted to do roller derby and I found DGD online. I attended their championship games to see what it was all about, and I was hooked. I came to recruitment night and the rest is history.”


Explain the origin of your derby name.
“I got my name from Tenacious D and changed it around to make it more ‘girly.’ I thought it was really funny. I was torn between choosing 10acious V or BAMF as my name, so I was pretty excited when I found out I could use BAMF as my number.”


Who inspires you on the track?
“I am so inspired by my team! They never quit and always give everything they have for our team. They are all so amazing and it is an honor to skate with them. Coach Kentner pushes me to be better and makes me believe I can be better. Coach Arp is the most encouraging coach in the world! He always knows what to say to pump you up and makes you believe in yourself. My husband Chad is my biggest fan and his belief in me pushes me to become the best skater I can be.”


How has roller derby changed your life?
“Roller derby has been amazing for me! It has made me embrace my inner athlete and become a healthier person. Roller derby makes my soul happy and no matter what happens in my day, I know that I can go to practice and skate it out. I also cherish the new friendships that I have found in my derby family.”


What is it about roller derby that brings out the best in 10acious V?
“Playing derby has made me more tenacious than ever. I have learned that no matter how tired you are there is always something more you can give. I love the adrenaline rush of playing and the mental challenges of the game. It makes me feel alive!”

To see more of 10acious V and all the Dead Girls in action, visit our photo albums on Smugmug, like us on Facebook, and check out our newly-launched Pinterest and Instagram pages.

The Return of Pippi Strongblocking

In May 2013, the legendary Pippi Strongblocking of the Shotgun Sheilas was diagnosed with breast cancer after a chance trip to the hospital following concussive injuries at a charity bout.

In the months that followed, the outpouring of support for our girl Pippi melted the hardest of derby hearts. Monies were raised. Awareness was raised. And in the early stages of 2014, our spirits were raised as it was announced that Wendy, the whimsically-named tumor that had invaded all our lives and threatened one of our finest, had been crushed utterly.

Pippi Strongblocking is cancer-free, and this weekend, she makes her return to the flat track for Dead Girl Derby‘s 2014 championship game.


“Me, worry?”

As usual, we caught up with some of her teammates and friends to get their thoughts.


So sayeth Coach Wyatt:

This Saturday will be the first game that Pippi has skated in 15 months with the Shotgun Sheilas. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2013, it was a blow to everyone in the league. But, as I knew she would, she battled and destroyed every bit of cancer. The second she was released to skate, she was skating. When she was released for contact, she was scrimmaging. Pippi has done a lot of training, on and off skates, to get back into shape.

We have an amazingly deep bench with amazing skaters and she has had to work her ass off to earn her spot back. In the absence of Pippi, the team was forced to find themselves without her and I am damn proud of every single girl on my roster. Aneeda Hurtcha stepped up into some big shoes, and in my opinion, filled every single inch of them. Now with Pippi back in the lineup, we will see what happens. There is no denying that she is the heart of the Sheilas; she is a leader on and off the track. She brings an intensity and calmness to the track that it hard to describe. I am extremely excited for the game on Saturday to see how my Shelias do against the very talented Royal Pains. It is sure to be one hell of a battle. PFIST!


So sayeth Aneeda Hurtcha:

I have had the immense pleasure of having Pippi be my teammate and friend for four seasons of roller derby. She has one of the most kind and peaceful souls I have ever known and I trust and respect her tremendously. Pippi has always been a calming presence for me while on the track and words can not express how happy I am to have my Pippi back.


So sayeth Hittie Kittie:

When I found out Pippi had cancer, I was devastated. The whole team was just shaken to their core. The league was utterly shocked. Her battle was no easy journey, but she came through it all victoriously. Taking the track with her on Saturday for the championship game is both an honor and a dream come true. The Sheilas have their heart back. We were never the same team without her. If cancer can’t stop us, nothing can! We are Sheila Strong!


Pippi Strongblocking and the Shotgun Sheilas will face the Royal Pains tomorrow night at Kemper Arena for the 2014 Dead Girl Derby championship. Click the banner above for the Facebook event page. Doors open at 5:00, games begin at 6:00.

Featured Blacksnake Rollergirl – August 2014


Our Featured Blacksnake Rollergirl for August is The Kadydid Kid!

Name: The Kadydid Kid
Teams: The Danger Dolls
Number: R-84
Position(s): Blocker
Seasons with the Blacksnake Rollergirls: 3


How did you discover the Blacksnake Rollergirls?
“I discovered BRG through my sister, Lucy Brawler. She always wanted me to play and she asked if I wanted to try it out.”


Explain the origin of your derby name.
“My derby name is originated from The Karate Kid. It was “Cady Did-It” for a week, and obviously it didn’t stick. Lucy suggested this name and it was perfect! The whole league called me Kid anyway since I was the youngest in the league at the time.”


Who inspires you on the track?
“Everyone inspires me on the track. Every woman in this league has a special talent and they all inspire me to learn more and constantly strive to be better. I love every Blacksnake, coach, ref, and skater.”


How has roller derby changed your life?
“Roller derby gave me an outlet to get away from all of the life things that happen. BRG is a big second family that I couldn’t imagine NOT having in my life. They make me laugh, cry, and brighten my day when I’m having a really bad one.”


What is it about roller derby that brings out the best in The Kadydid Kid?
“BRG makes me want to be the best I can be, on the track and off. These girls are nurses, military men and women, computer nerds, and so many greater things than just the ones we come in contact with on a daily basis. It helps me keep going through school and they inspire me to be great in life. They are a great support system and I am so proud to be a Blacksnake!”

To see more of The Kadydid Kid and all the Blacksnake Rollergirls in action, visit our photo albums on Smugmug, like us on Facebook, and check out our newly-launched Pinterest and Instagram pages.