By Paul T. Choate
June 18, 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 Megan Carmody
Megan “Bone Thugs N Carmody” Carmody, owner of Black Cat Burrito in downtown Boone and rollergirls team co-captain (along with Jennele “Coco Janel” Vaquera), sat down with High Country Press to talk about derby and what fuels her fire.
Paul T. Choate: What can you tell me about the upcoming event?
Megan “Bone Thugs N Carmody” Carmody: This coming Saturday, Holmes Convocation Center on the campus of Appalachian State, we have our second home bout of the year againt a team out of Chattanooga called the B Messie Smiths. They will be formidable opposition. It is 7 o’clock Saturday, doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are available online at theholmescenter.com, you can get them at Black Cat, Lucky Penny, Boone Drug, and student tickets are only $5 so we’re really trying to encourage the students to come out. It’s a fan base that we’ve yet to tap into I think, and I think throughout the course of the coming years they are going to be very important.
PC: You are undefeated currently…
MC: We are currently undefeated. We’ve had a couple of close games and a couple of blowouts. We’ve traveled all the way to Virginia and won a good game in Richmond. We also beat Asheville, which was a team that kind of blew us out last year so that was really cool to go into their home stadium and beat them.
PC: So are you going to be undefeated on Sunday?
MC: I would like to think that we are. Yes! Absolutely.
PC: As one of the captains of the team, what have you been doing to make sure that everyone else is both mentally and physically prepared for this upcoming bout?
MC: Jennele and I traveled to Rhode Island at the end of last month to go to a three-day convention. We learned tons of new drills and skating techniques that were really, really cool. We brought all that information back. We’ve been training really hard. We practice two to three times per week … We work on explosive moves and we are all encouraged to train outside of derby on top of all that, whether it’s running, going to the gym, doing CrossFit, and I think everyone has really taken to it.
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?
MC: We go out and do a lot for the community. We are involved in all kinds of fundraising events. This bout we’re benefitting a local family afflicted by cancer. And I think just being in the community, and interviews in the papers and on Mountain Television and really just trying to get the word out. People aren’t familiar with roller derby. They are becoming much more familiar as we move into our second and third seasons so now it’s just a matter of convincing people that this is something they can bring the whole family to. There’s something for everybody. The kids love it, the moms love it, the dads love it. We just want people to understand what it is. I think a lot people have preconceived notions from what they saw back in the 60’s and 70’s on television and that it’s WWF-style play when, in fact, it’s really not. The further and further that derby progresses, the more athletic it becomes. It’s not a show. All the hits are real.
PC: So what drives you and fuels your fire for roller derby?
MC: I’ve always been really involved in outdoor activities up here. I’m a cyclist predominantly. When I found out about roller derby it was something that really sparked my interest because a.) the competitiveness, and the fact that it’s a team sport and it’s run by women for women. Getting involved has been truly amazing. It allows me to funnel my aggression from the ins and outs of daily life into a sport and have fun at it at the same time. So I think that’s been really cool. Cycling is a very individual sport for the most part. And the comradery you get playing on a team is so different from anything else. So that’s been really, really exciting and really fun.
PC: I would imagine it would take a special person to be drawn to a sport with such a high degree of physicality…
MC: Oh absolutely! You know you’re going to get hurt, you know you’re going to be covered in bruises all the time. I’ve had injuries from minor bruises to broken wrists, broken fingers and my back is always jacked up. I’ve spent a lot of money investing in every possible brace for every body part that they make … But it’s not deterred me yet. They make a brace for everything, I can assure you.
PC: Finally, tell me about the nickname. I know you all have these creative nicknames…
MC: The creative nicknames… I’ve gone through several of them. Sometimes it’s hard to find one that really resonates. There was a rap band from the ’90, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, and one of my employees helped me come up with Bone Thugs N Carmody. You know, people get it, it’s cute, it incorporates my real last name and it’s one of the fun parts of derby is coming up with the name and the persona. So when we came up with that one it was like, “Oh! That’s it! Done.” It’s just part of the fun and it keeps it light. Like I said before, it’s a serious sport but there’s still a lot of fun in it.
For more information, visit appalachianrollergirls.com.
Flier for June 23 bout