As athletes race around a roller derby track, if they’re lucky, they won’t be knocked down.
If they are, though, they are fine with that, too.
The athletes that make up the Little Rascals Jr. roller derby team out of Lockeford include three Galt skaters and, for them, knocking people over is part of a typical game and all in good fun.
“I get to make a bunch of new friends, I get to hit people and I get to take out all my anger,” said Catastrophe, aka Sophia Ramos, about what she likes about roller derby.
Will Farren, who will be a junior at Galt High School in the fall, echoed Catastrophe’s enthusiasm for the sport.
“Hitting people,” Farren, who goes by Mr. MustDash Boy, said, when asked what he likes about roller derby.
Mr. MustDash Boy has competed in roller derby for two years and with the help of the Little Rascals’ coach, who is on the Olympic roller derby team, has gone from someone who can skate to an assertive jammer (in roller derby, five skaters from each team go on the track at once and one skater, the jammer, has the goal of skating past a human barrier named blockers to earn points for the jammer’s team).
“A lot better. When I first started skating, I could skate but I couldn’t hold my balance at all. She’s on the Olympic team. She’s the one who taught me everything,” Mr. MustDash Boy said of his coach.
The consensus among the three skaters from Galt on the team (there are 16 skaters on the roster) is that jamming is their favorite role on the track.
Jammers can skate through blockers or around them and the Little Rascals footwork on the track, as well as their opponents, Motown Misfits, were above the average skater, as skaters were able to navigate their way around and over their opponents as well as stopping if they needed to.
Queen Ryn-lentless, aka Maryn Rogers, heard about the sport after attending the Lockeford tree-lighting ceremony, saw a booth for the Little Rascals and signed up.
Rogers will be in the eighth grade in the fall and said she fell in love with jamming since day one.
“I love to be a jammer. Ever since the first day of roller derby, I knew I was going to be a jammer,” Queen Ryn-lentless said.
Her favorite part of roller derby? Its ability to let people let loose or to “just let your anger out. I love to be aggressive, I’ve always been aggressive.”
The Little Rascals came from behind multiple times on their home track on June 22 to take the lead against the Misfits, including a late lead with minutes left, but were surpassed by the Misfits in the end.
Lockeford’s home track is actually outdoors in large area next to a winery, and although most of their away games are indoors, they’ve gotten used to skating outdoors when they’re at home.
Mr. MustDash Boy said that he practices with the team two days a week for two hours and also practices at the skate park occasionally.
Catastrophe got into the sport after reading a novel that happened to be about roller derby.
“I’ve been skating for about 11 months. I like reading illustrated novels and there was this one book that was new and it’s called ‘Roller Girl’ and it’s about a girl in roller derby so it made me really want to join roller derby because it looked so fun,” said Catastrophe, who attends McCaffrey Middle School.
The Little Rascals’ meet occurred before the Lockeford Liberators adult roller derby team hosted the Quad City Derby Bombshells later that night on the same track.
For anyone who might be interested in the sport and enjoys wreaking havoc on skates, Catastrope had this to say.
“You should have fun with it. Never be too serious.”