Roller Derby see as practice round to prepare for future competition

By Omar Padilla-Lopez
Flapjack staff

This past weekend on Thursday, Feb. 9, the Redwood Rollers derby team was in an exhibition match locally at the Redwood Acres Fairgrounds in Eureka at 7:30 to 9 p.m. The Humboldt women had a friendly scrimmage in which it was not really counted against their actual season matches. They will either face against each other and have a friendly competition or they will face another local team or a team from another place or sometimes it being a public scrimmage in which anyone that is willing to compete.

The team faces the Lava City Roller Dolls from Bend, Oregon, in less than a week for an actual match.

Humboldt County has four roller derby teams:  Redwood Rollers, North Jetty Bettys, Widow Makers and the HRD B Team.  The Redwood Rollers, though, are the internationally ranked WFTDA charter team. The team features the top skaters from the North Jetty Bettys and the Widow Makers.

Austin Kelley from Arcata said it was enjoyable to watch local skaters compete against each other in a low-stakes scrimmage.

“Those are fun because there is not too much pressure,” she said. “And it is usually just to get the body going and in that zone of competition.”

Atreyu 26 , Barry’em, 6-ft Under ,and Bianca Swagger Fresh 2 Death are some of the skaters for the Redwood Rollers.

Watching them in this scrimmage was like watching an actual match because they treated it like one, with much aggressiveness and determination.

“It being a scrimmage it does not count too much against us,” said Atreyu 26.

The idea, players agreed, was to get better every time they compete and learn from all the mistakes.

“Roller derby is a different kind of sport and people approach it or watch it differently than others but it’s the team aspect that brings them all together, especially if it is a local team that one is rooting for,” said the Eureka Redwood Acres manager.

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