By Rebecca Gitlen
Aug. 1, 2012. High Country Press presents two heavy-on-the-drama videos of past Appalachian Rollergirls derby bouts for your viewing pleasure. If you’ve never seen a bout, the derby word for a match or game, you should check out these videos and attempt to imagine what it would be like to see this event up close and in person. Then you should get tickets for this Saturday. Also note that these videos are from the past (one dates back to April and the other is from June 23). Even then the Appalachian Rollergirls were tearing up the track and the other teams. Since these videos, the Appalachian Rollergirls have only pushed harder, discovered more strategies and become even more ruthless masters of the track.
The last Appalachian Rollergirls (ARG) home bout is Saturday, August 4 at the George M. Holmes Convocation Center at 7 p.m. ARG will take on the Carolina Bootleggers from Raleigh. ARG is anticipating this bout to be one of the most difficult on their 2012 schedule.
“(The Carolina Bootleggers) have a good record and a great team,” said co-captain of the rollergirls, Jennele ‘Coco Janel’ Vaquera. “I’m excited for the challenge.”
The team has been practicing some new strategies to prep for the bout. As derby is a relatively new sport, it’s evolving all the time. Vaquera said the rollergirls have practiced some techniques to score major points in what’s called a power jam.
Expect to see a wild and diverse crowd at the bout. The game of rollerderby has made a revival and tales of ARG’s bad-assery is spreading. “We definitely see the same people and then some,” Vaquera said. “Word’s spreading and people are coming out.”
This season ARG is undefeated with a record of 6-0, having just come off a win in Savannah, Ga. on July 14 with a score of 264-81. The team has experienced tremendous success this season through the coaching of Scott Herman, owner of Muscle Works Massage in Boone and experienced skater.
“ARG is a skater owned and skater run team,” says ARG team member Shannon Hampton, aka Diesel Pusher. “We are all volunteers and play for love of the game, fun, exercise and to raise money for charity as well as people in the community.”
Tickets are available in advance online at www.theholmescenter.com and at local retail locations: Black Cat Burrito, Boone Drug at Deerfield and Lucky Penny. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Brady Bakken Family. Brady is a fifth grader at Valle Crucis Elementary school who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Burkitt’s Lymphoma. The team is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organzation that always works closely with a local charity or persons in need when they put on a competition as a way to give back to the Boone area community.
About the Appalachian Rollergirls
Every skater has their day job, but on a few Saturdays every month they are the Appalachian Roller Girls, queens of the roller rink, or in Boone’s case queens of the George M. Holmes Convocation center on ASU campus. The mission of ARG is to encourage female athleticism, empowerment and community awareness through activities, events and charity involvement. The league was founded in March, 2010 by an ASU student making a post on Facebook. Thanks to Facebook and a local businesswoman, over 80 women showed up at Skateworld to check out the revival of the rock’em, block’em, knock down sport known as roller derby. ARG has since attracted more than 20 very committed women from around the high country. These women are students, local business owners, bar tenders, mothers, physical trainers, massage therapists and the list goes on.
Rollergirls on April 28, 2012
Video by Ken Ketchie
Rollergirls on June 23, 2012
Video by Maria Richardson