Dedicated Derby Dames
If there were an undefeated sports team based in Boone, you would figure that everybody would be talking about it.
Well, there is an undefeated team in the area, and people are starting to get excited and talk about it.
Sixteen months ago, the Appalachian Rollergirls roller derby team was just a dream. Now, it is a reality with a 4-0 record and wins against Charleston (S.C.), Greeneville (S.C.), Columbia (S.C.) and Athens (Ga.).
The Appalachian Rollergirls will host their first home bout ever on Saturday, June 18, from 4 to 6 p.m., versus The French Broads, a roller derby team from the Asheville area. The event is a doubleheader with an exhibition bout starting at 4 p.m.
All tickets are general admission seating and are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
"We anticipate a good crowd at home," Appalachian Rollergirl Megan Carmody said. "There are a lot of people in the area from the older generation who remember roller derby during the '70s and even the '50s, when it was really popular. That popularity has been coming back in the past few years, and we're really excited about having a team in the High Country."
Carmody, along with teammate Jordyn Coats, are the only two members of the current Rollergirls roster who were present at the first organizational meeting of the team in February 2010 at Skate World. The team now practices every Tuesday and Thursday at the National Guard Armory in Boone.
Currently, the Appalachian Rollergirls are working toward establishing themselves as an apprentice team in the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), the national sanctioning body for the sport.
The latest generation of roller derby girls have kept alive one of the most important traditions of the sport: Nicknames. It has long been a must for every roller girl to have a team name that is a play on their real name, or demonstrates ferocity or even some risqué danger.
Team names on the Rollergirl squad include The Ashinator, J Gnaws Tin, Knuckle Samich, Nell Raiser and Rolli Canolli. All nicknames have to be original within the framework of the WFTDA, and a website is available to let competitors know which names are already taken.
The Appalachian Rollergirls range in age from 20 to 47, with most of the members having little or no roller derby experience prior to the first four bouts in the team's history. With four straight wins under their belts, however, they are feeling confident about next Saturday's bout.
"There is such a camaraderie in this sport," Carmody said. "We practice with women from other teams when they are in the area. We've had girls from Johnson City, Asheville and even Tampa, Fla., practice with us. It's a great atmosphere. During the bouts we're serious competitors, but then there's always an after-party where we get together to have fun."
In addition to the fun, the roller derby meet at the Holmes Center is an opportunity for the team to purchase a new flat track to race on.
"This first home bout is a fundraiser for us to raise money to build a wooden flat track for the Holmes Center," Carmody said. "We're calling it our 'tile drive-her' fundraiser."
For advance tickets to next Saturday's roller derby bout at the Holmes Center in Boone, featuring your Appalachian Rollergirls and The French Broads, call the Holmes Center at (828) 262-6603.
Advance tickets can also be purchased from individual members of the Appalachian Rollergirls team or at Black Cat Burrito, Lucky Penny, Boone Drug Deerfield and at the RBC-Centura Bank on King Street.