HOUSTON – Houston Roller Derby has been training diligently to prepare for an electrifying fifth season, which will officially start March 20 with the league’s season opener bout.
“The 2010 season is going to be exciting,” said Carmen Geddit, HaRD Knocks travel team captain and member of home team The Psych Ward Sirens. “All three home teams are working hard and there will be some amazing competition on the track.”
The Red Stick Roller Derby’s All-Stars travel team from Baton Rouge, La. will travel to Houston to play the Psych Ward Sirens at the season opener bout. Sirens Captain Mistilla the Killa said she is confident of her team’s ability to win against Red Stick.
“The Sirens roster boasts the highest number of veteran skaters that excel at all elements of the game,” she said. “This team is known for their speed, agility, and an uncanny ability to make their way through the smallest of holes in a pack.”
The bout will start at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m. at Kick’s, 611 N. Shepherd in the Heights neighborhood of Houston and will also feature a match-up between HRD home teams The Bayou City Bosses and The Brawlers.
“The Bosses are looking forward to a new season of fun and knocking ladies on their asses,” said Bayou City Bosses Captain Rebel Ann. The Bosses were named 2009 League Champions last year after a nail-biting season-closer game against the Sirens.
After missing out on a spot in the championship competition last year, The Brawlers have undertaken some tough training during the off-season, said Miss Lead, Co-Captain.
“When training gets tough we tell our skaters ‘we’ll suffer now and we’ll live the rest of the season as winners,’” she said.
After more than 20 skaters retired at the end of the 2009 season, HRD has recruited and trained 23 talented rookies to fill its ranks.
“Unfortunately, our league did lose some seasoned vets, but we gained some amazing rookies who our fans will fall in love with,” Geddit said.
Three promising new skaters, Sexy Sniper, Dutch Destroyer and Cynder Hellyeah, were drafted to the HaRD Knocks team this season. HaRD Knocks also added returning skaters Beverly Kills and The Prosecutor, who came out of retirement this season.
Another change this season is the bout format. HRD has adjusted the scheduling so that each game will be played straight through to its completion, as opposed to alternating the first and second halves of both games. The new format will keep the adrenaline thrill at its maximum level as fans follow their favorite team’s game directly from start to finish.
There’s a lot to look forward to for the league’s fifth season. HRD has scheduled out-of-town teams to come play at every single home bout, meaning that roller derby fans will get treated to highly competitive flat-track action at every game.
“After four seasons HRD has proven to work together flawlessly for the good of the league,” said Mistilla the Killa, who is also a member of the HaRD Knocks team. “We’ve worked on teamwork and communication that produces a dense, intimidating pack, combined with aggressive, nimble jammers. History undeniably favors that HRD is an incredible matchup for any league in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).”
As a relatively new sport following its resurgence in the late 1990s, roller derby has evolved from season to season, becoming more competitive and athletic as its skaters further hone their skills and develop new strategies.
“It's not a T&A show on wheels,” said Corbin Cojones, the league’s head referee. “These women are real, strong, athletic, and revolutionary. It is worth people's time because they are supporting sports in the truest sense - not the sports organization, but the players themselves. It is a truly grass roots event.”
Since organizing in 2005, Houston Roller Derby has grown into a league of 50 skaters that sells more than 1,000 tickets for each bout. HRD is one of 78 member leagues that make up the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. HRD is ranked third in the WFTDA Southwest Region and was one of the top 12 teams in the nation to compete at the WFTDA national championships in November 2009.
Tickets cost $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Visit www.houstonrollerderby.com.