By Paul T. Choate
June 20, 2012. On Saturday, June 23, the Appalachian Rollergirls (4-0) will take on the Chattanooga B Messie Smiths at 7 p.m. at the Holmes Convocation Center. Leading up to the bout, the High Country Press sat down with the ladies on skates to get to know them better.
For more information about the bout, check out our preview article.
Q&A with Ashley Laws
Ashley “Ashinator” Laws, bartender at Woodlands Barbecue in Blowing Rock and Appalachian Rollergirls skater, spent some time with High Country Press to talk about derby and what fuels her fire.
Paul T. Choate: What are you expectations for the upcoming bout?
Ashley “Ashinator” Laws: That we’ll win of course. I think we’ll have a really good crowd. You know a lot of people are coming out to support Eric Ford, who we are benefitting. We’re really excited about that. The whole team has just really been on our game this year so I’m really excited to play.
PC: You are undefeated currently. What has paved the way for that?
AL: Hard work. Our coach is awesome. He has a lot of good drills that we do and our co-captains have gone to a couple of specialized camps and have brought a lot of new ideas in. We’ve really switched up the way we’ve played in our last couple of bouts so it definitely shows that we’ve grown as a team.
PC: So are you going to be undefeated on Sunday?
AL: Planning on it. That’s the game plan.
PC: What have you been doing to make sure that you are both mentally and physically prepared for this upcoming bout?
AL: I always start to visualize at least a couple of days before the bout. But also just for fun exercise I usually skate the Greenway on my off days from practice. I think that has really helped my skating in the last couple of months. I’m very comfortable on wheels.
PC: What have you been doing to promote these bouts and get the word out in the High Country that this is an up and coming sport in the area?
AL: Besides just word of mouth I’m actually a bartender so I talk about derby every day at work. All my customers are very excited to come and they spread the word to their friends. We’ve also done a lot of publicity with billboards and putting up signs. So we’re definitely out there. People are finally realizing that there is a great derby team in town.
PC: So what drives you and fuels your fire for roller derby?
AL: It’s great to be a part of team. I was very athletic growing up in high school and in grade school, and now I’m 30 and there really hasn’t been an outlet to have that competition, so I jumped right on it when I heard that roller derby was here. It’s just been wonderful. It’s hard to imagine life without roller derby. I don’t even know what I did before. It’s just great fun and I love all my teammates. It’s a great sisterhood.
PC: I would imagine it would take a special person to be drawn to a sport with such a high degree of physicality…
AL: It can be demanding but I like to say I hit a lot more than I get it. It works out pretty well for me.
PC: Finally, tell me about the nickname. I know you all have these creative nicknames…
AL: Well, being a bartender, a couple of years ago I invented a drink named after myself and it’s called the Ashinator. A couple of those down — I like to see people get Ashinated. But it looks real soft and sweet but it will knock you on your butt. So, it seems quite appropriate to use that. [As for the drink,] let’s just say that it tastes like church punch and a Long Island Iced Tea has nothing on it.
For more information, visit appalachianrollergirls.com.
Flier for June 23 bout