sunnyland slammers

Skater of the Month: August 2013

Photo Credit: Phantom Photographics

Name and Number: Double-Tap Darling #D34D
Team: Sunnyland Slammers
Position: Blocker

1. You are definitely one of my favorite skaters to go against. How long have you been skating for?
3 ½ years with a 6 month break due to a knee injury. This was my second full season.

2. Derby is a pretty athletic game. Did you grow up playing sports?
No, this is my first time being involved with any sport. I was always more artistic vs athletic until I found derby.

3. Do you have any signature moves/skills that separate you from some of the other girls? I promise I won’t tell anybody ;)
My serious booty blocks, and I tend to be a brick wall when hit, unless I’m trapped (lol).

4. How do you keep yourself from getting discouraged when playing in a game or scrimmaging and you’ve gotten a bad call?
I like to try and keep calm by telling myself that it’s OK because when I get back on that track I’m gonna just make sure to play super clean, so it can’t happen again. Plus, I love our refs.

5. As co-captain you now have input into the selection of new recruits. What are you looking for?
One of the things on the top of my list for Sunnyland will be a positive attitude. Our team likes to stay positive and upbeat. We need to keep that standard. Skills wise we will be looking for skaters that will be potential jammers and heavy hitters.

6. What can we find you doing in your spare time?
In my non-derby life I’m a hair stylist and also the assistant manager of my salon. I also have 2 chihuahuas, who are my children that I spend my spare time with.

7. You’ve excelled so much in this past season. What’s next for you?
Well, with my schedule at my salon I have not been able to be a part of the travel team due to when their practices are. So I’m hoping that maybe by the next try-outs I’ll be able to attend. Until then, I’ll be working on my mad skills.

Skater of the Month: March 2014

Name: Devil’s Songbird
Number: 333
Position: PB&J (Pivot, Blocker, and Jammer)

1. How did you get involved with roller derby?
I used to play rugby. When I moved to Florida and couldn’t join the team here due to work conflicts someone mentioned derby, one practice as a ref and I was hooked, I joined the very next recruitment.

2. You have a unique name.  How did you decide on it? 
I went through my Magic the Gathering cards and found one I liked, changed it a bit and that was that. It was one of a few choices, narrowed down by the fact I like being called ‘Birdie’ for short.

3. What has been your favorite experience playing derby for OPCDG?
Any time I surpass myself even slightly it feels like the best moment of derby for me. I would have to say so far winning my first MVP would have to be the best moment. The thing that made it mean so much to me was the fact that I won it for Pivot, after repeatedly questioning my captain on the idea that I could play the position. Because she pushed me and supported me I found my voice and am learning to use it effectively. Wining that gave me the confidence and drive to try and become even bettering the role.

4. This is your second year with the Straight Jackette’s and you are now the Co-Captain. What are you most excited about for this season?
I am excited to play with the travel girls because I know we are going to make the best team we can. With the way we are learning to work together and the goals we have set as a group we will all grow and reach the next level. I want to see how far we can take this team together.

5. I understand you have big aspirations for your derby career. Tell us about it.
I tend to be highly competitive and ambitious. My goals always seem to reflect that. My long term goal is to see how far I can push myself, with the idea of trying out for the USA team some day. As long as I am always improving my skills, bettering my body and understanding of our sport, and staying motivated I will be reaching for it. My short term goals change constantly as I find a new things to try and more ways I can improve. Currently I am working on my hitting as a blocker, and juking/footwork as a jammer. I skate every day, practicing even the most basic of things so I can build on a solid foundation to continue bettering myself as a skater.

6. Let’s get a picture of what you are like off the track. What do you spend your free time doing?
When I am not laced up I am usually working. I am a hair stylist and I have a passion for it that drives me to be the best I can be. Every person who sits in my chair is a living canvas. When I am not creating in the salon I am creating at home with paint and sometimes sculpting or writing. Any other free time I manage to find goes to a myriad of other hobbies and skills to learn. Passion, experiencing new things and learning are what gives life meaning to me. A few random things I have learned just because it looked like fun - fire eating, needle point, surfing, and scuba diving.

7. Lastly, what was your favorite television show when you were a kid and why?
Pokemon. Lets be honest I still love Pokemon. I play the games I watch the show. I have the cards. I have the plans for a tattoo.

Fresh Meat Files: Shod N. Froyda - Making a Team

So, It has been a week (now two weeks) since I’ve found out that I am a Sunnyland Slammer.  I am excited to have made a team.  It feels good to know that my hard work has been appreciated and recognized, and I am excited to skate and learn as part of a team.  I have to say it’s a bit daunting to know that this is it.  I’m going to be hit harder, I’m going to fall more,  I might get seriously injured.  In the back of my head the fight or flight instinct is screaming at me “RUN, what have you gotten yourself into?  Are you crazy?”  But really, I want to kick butt at this so badly that I’m not listening.  
I’ve never had a jersey with my name on it, so I am stupidly excited about that.  I’ve also never really been on a team, not since high school when my father made me do a sport.  I joined the track team.  I hate running.  It wasn’t fun.   I love Derby.  I never really thought I could get into a team sport, but there’s something about roller derby that’s just awesome. At times it’s graceful, at times it’s hard hitting, it’s exciting, there’s strategy.  When I was a kid all I wanted to do was play ice hockey, but instead my mother pushed me to become a figure skater.  I used to watch the hockey players bashing each other and wonder why I was choreographing routines and wearing spandex.  So for me, finding roller derby is like making the hockey team I always wanted to be on.  Except now I don’t have to worry about getting in trouble for stick checking people, and the gear bag isn’t as heavy.  
I will have already had my first practice as a team by the time this gets posted.  I am hoping that I won’t make them regret their choice, but I’m sure I won’t.  I’ve seen myself come so far as a skater, and I’m proud of myself.  Cheesy, I know.  But sometimes it feels good to bask in the glow of your own awesome.  Here’s hoping I live up to my own expectations.  
Shod N. Froyda.