Over the Saint Patrick’s Day weekend, the Appalachian Rollergirls (#170) competed in the 2017 Clover Cup roller derby tournament in Dallas, Texas. Hosted by the Dallas Derby Devils, the tournament featured nine Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) teams from around the United States. Although the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, the Appalachian Rollergirls upset both North Texas Roller Derby (#130) and Assassination City Roller Derby (#135) during hard-fought, close bouts that thrilled the venue’s spectators and skaters.
The team from Boone fell once to Red Stick Roller Derby (#143) with a score of 207-152. However, the Appalachian Rollergirls pummeled North Texas 214 -176 and skated away with a win in the final jam against Assassination City with a heart-stopping score of 194-193.
Mallory “Honey Boom Boom” Sadler, the league president of the Appalachian Rollergirls and blocker in that victorious final jam, credits teamwork and smart strategy for the win. “Our team had the most amazing energy going into the last two minutes,” says Sadler. “We knew that our final jammer, PYT, had to get lead and score 13 points. We all wanted this win. We played smart and stayed together. We really fought to give that extra 1%, and that made all the difference. We spent the whole bout supporting one another. This was our chance to bring the win home for everyone.”
The points scored in the last jam were a team effort led by Patricia “PYT” Ybanez, known for her speed, footwork, and composure when jamming in these nerve-wracking moments. She notes that hard work and confidence from the coach—Scott “Cool Hand Duke” Herman—helped her push the team to this satisfying triumph. “We do 50-100 laps of endurance every practice,” Ybanez reflects. “We have a saying that we ‘never tire.’ When the other team starts slacking, we push harder. Before the final jam started, I remember Coach coming up to me, placing his hand on my shoulder, and saying, ‘PYT, when you get lead…’ He had complete confidence that I was going to succeed, and I did. We all did.”
In May, the Appalachian Rollergirls will head to a Georgia tournament where they hope to solidify more wins. “A little dancing on the bench never hurts, either,” remarks Sadler with a wink. “Our camaraderie and positive attitude keeps us focused and victorious. When we arrived at Clover Cup, no one knew who we were. When we left, we had a ton of new fans and recognition.”
Local fans can catch the Appalachian Rollergirls at their August home bout in Boone, North Carolina. Currently, the team is searching for a new 10,000 sq. ft. bouting venue. Please contact Scott Herman at (828) 406-3344 for inquiries.
ABOUT APPALACHIAN ROLLERGIRLS: The APPALACHIAN ROLLERGIRLS are an 18+ all-female skater-run flat track roller derby league based in Boone, North Carolina. We are a 501c3 Non Profit and our mission is to encourage female athleticism, empowerment, and community awareness through various activities and events throughout the year.
ABOUT WFTDA: The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association is the international governing body for the sport of women’s flat track roller derby and a membership organization for leagues to collaborate and network. The WFTDA sets standards for rules, seasons, and safety, and determines guidelines for the international athletic competitions of member leagues. There are currently 197 WFTDA member leagues and 98 affiliated leagues in the WFTDA Apprentice program worldwide. The WFTDA is governed by a five-member, volunteer Board of Directors and managed by an Executive Director.