Rollin’ on out | Derby prepares for last bout of season

Joe Rowles

Marquette’s own Superior Sirens face off against the Rolling Riptide at the Lakeview Arena Saturday, August 29 for the last Dead River Derby of the 2015 season. Tickets will cost $8 in advance or $10 at the door, with the bout starting at 6 p.m.

Roller derby is a contact sport that consists of an oval track with two competing teams attempting to score points by lapping the other on roller skates. This creates a situation called a jam, or scoring session that lasts two minutes.

During this session points are scored every time a jammer passes a member of the opposing team.

The sport is physical, with blockers attempting to stall or stop the opposing jammer, Pepper Pilliwinks (Sonia Stucko) of the Rolling Riptide said. “You get in their way and you hit them with your booty, your hips or your shoulders.”

The Dead River Derby is recruiting new members, and advise any interested women to email [email protected]

“We set you up with gear and we kind of give you a little bit of a tutorial and once you decide to be a part of it,” Wrangle-Her (Austin Smith), a member of the fresh meat said. “You’re considered fresh meat.”

“When I started I couldn’t skate at all, and we have another girl who couldn’t even stand up on her skates and she’s now a bouting skater,” Smith said.

“Each bout benefits a different charity so we raise a bunch of money doing that, and one of our big money makers is doing a calendar.

“This year we were able to donate more than $1,000 to the women’s center,” Smith said.

Glory Sparks, a jammer for the Rolling Riptide, has been compared to a quarterback by Pepper Pilliwinks. “She’s a blocker, but kind of a director,” Sparks said.

Sparks refused to submit her birth name for to The North Wind at the time of this publication.

“You pick your derby name and that’s your name for your whole career,” Sparks said. “It took 10 weeks to pick my name and I went through a lot of different choices.”

Sparks said her patriotism and energy were inspiration for her name, but Glory wasn’t her first choice. It actually took her 10 to narrow down her choices.

“I was trying to tie in something that had to do with a little bit of military, so I came up with Sailor, and I was trying to come up with Sailor and something fast because I was going to be a fast skater. I came up with Swift,” Sparks said.

“I came to practice and thought, ‘I have my name it’s Sailor Swift.’

“Suomi Smack looked at me and she asked, ‘Like Taylor Swift?”

Swift didn’t stick.