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Player Profile: Public Jenemy

By: Rainbow Rucker

Derby Name: Public Jenemy #01

Real Life Alias: Jenna Cucco

Freshie Year: 2013-2014

If there was ever a skater whose derby name did not exactly fit her real life persona, it’s AllStars Co-Captain Public Jenemy. She is, quite possibly, the kindest and happiest person you will ever meet. But on the track she’s a fierce competitor who will give it all and you will understand why her name suits, even if it isn’t exactly the name she originally imagined when she started derby.

Jenemy didn’t consider herself an athlete before she started roller derby, even though she played soccer all through childhood and through high school as well as lacrosse in high school. She was on 6 intermural teams in college, even though she never played in a single game, but she hasn’t looked back since she started roller derby. In her first bout she got lead in the first half, though the second half showed the harder side of derby. But it was worth all the effort she spent late at night in a farmhouse on the top of a very rural mountaintop skating in the basement hallway focusing on her transitions. Working at derby – the drive to get better – is half the fun for her, and something that was missing from her previous sporting endeavors.

Her derby career started out less auspiciously than some, with an ankle injury during her first bout against Star City in Roanoke Virginia, but it has only grown since then. And Jenemy will be the first to tell you that all the hard work really pays off. It has earned her the auspicious helmet covers, the two positions she likes the most of Jammer and Pivot. She has also shown her love of derby to lots of new skaters through fresh meat programs, and taken two littles (who absolutely adore her) Bullyt Bri and Beast of Eden. Her “derby wife”, Grey Helmet, popped the question last year in Savannah in a very fun surprise before the whole team. She will be marrying her real life sweatheart this year as well, at the Jersey Shore where she is from and her love of derby began. Three generations of her family decided to go see a bout after seeing a flyer on the boardwalk and that was when she knew she needed derby in her life forever.

Outside of derby Jenemy is committed to giving back to the community. She works for Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley at their Community Outreach Coordinator and does a little bit of everything for them it seems, including getting derby girls down to help build houses. She can speak a little Spanish, but only to her three dogs and little kitten. When she was little she wanted to be lots of different things along the way, but we can see the ballerina in her skating style as she uses some very fancy footwork to sneak through your line.

Buy this lady a grilled hotdog in the peak of summertime, and make sure you give her ketchup to put on it (actually, just give her ketchup, she can show you how to eat anything properly with ketchup). But be careful, she might already have snuck through the line and skated away while you were queued up at the grill waiting on the dog.

Photo Credit: KGB Photography

APPALACHIAN ROLLERGIRLS FIND GOLD AT CLOVER CUP

By: Rainbow Rucker

9lb Hammer writes: Over the Saint Patrick’s Day weekend, the Appalachian Rollergirls (#170) competed in the 2017 Clover Cup roller derby tournament in Dallas, Texas. Hosted by the Dallas Derby Devils, the tournament featured nine Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) teams from around the United States. Although the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, the Appalachian Rollergirls upset both North Texas Roller Derby (#130) and Assassination City Roller Derby (#135) during hard-fought, close bouts that thrilled the venue’s spectators and skaters.

The team from Boone fell once to Red Stick Roller Derby (#143) with a score of 207-152. However, the Appalachian Rollergirls pummeled North Texas 214 -176 and skated away with a win in the final jam against Assassination City with a heart-stopping score of 194-193.

Mallory “Honey Boom Boom” Sadler, the league president of the Appalachian Rollergirls and blocker in that victorious final jam, credits teamwork and smart strategy for the win. “Our team had the most amazing energy going into the last two minutes,” says Sadler. “We knew that our final jammer, PYT, had to get lead and score 13 points. We all wanted this win. We played smart and stayed together. We really fought to give that extra 1%, and that made all the difference. We spent the whole bout supporting one another. This was our chance to bring the win home for everyone.”

The points scored in the last jam were a team effort led by Patricia “PYT” Ybanez, known for her speed, footwork, and composure when jamming in these nerve-wracking moments. She notes that hard work and confidence from the coach—Scott “Cool Hand Duke” Herman—helped her push the team to this satisfying triumph. “We do 50-100 laps of endurance every practice,” Ybanez reflects. “We have a saying that we ‘never tire.’ When the other team starts slacking, we push harder. Before the final jam started, I remember Coach coming up to me, placing his hand on my shoulder, and saying, ‘PYT, when you get lead…’ He had complete confidence that I was going to succeed, and I did. We all did.”

In May, the Appalachian Rollergirls will head to a Georgia tournament where they hope to solidify more wins. “A little dancing on the bench never hurts, either,” remarks Sadler with a wink. “Our camaraderie and positive attitude keeps us focused and victorious. When we arrived at Clover Cup, no one knew who we were. When we left, we had a ton of new fans and recognition.”

Local fans can catch the Appalachian Rollergirls at their August home bout in Boone, North Carolina. Currently, the team is searching for a new 10,000 sq. ft. bouting venue. Please contact Scott Herman at (828) 406-3344 for inquiries.

ABOUT APPALACHIAN ROLLERGIRLS: The APPALACHIAN ROLLERGIRLS are an 18+ all-female skater-run flat track roller derby league based in Boone, North Carolina. We are a 501c3 Non Profit and our mission is to encourage female athleticism, empowerment, and community awareness through various activities and events throughout the year.

ABOUT WFTDA:  The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association is the international governing body for the sport of women’s flat track roller derby and a membership organization for leagues to collaborate and network. The WFTDA sets standards for rules, seasons, and safety, and determines guidelines for the international athletic competitions of member leagues. There are currently 197 WFTDA member leagues and 98 affiliated leagues in the WFTDA Apprentice program worldwide. The WFTDA is governed by a five-member, volunteer Board of Directors and managed by an Executive Director.

Player Profile: TuTu LaRue

By: Rainbow Rucker

Derby Name: TuTu LaRue #22

Real Life Alias: Billie Jo Mosley Burns

Freshie Year: 2012-2013 with G-Force

Number of Tattoos:  2

 

We call her “The Ever Graceful TuTu LaRue” but you can call her a jammer’s worst nightmare. And we’re not gonna lie, we all know her butt is magical. Even though you know you can’t get around her easily as a jammer you are just drawn to trying, and that’s alright by ARG! She is the 2017 AllStars Captain and a proud, important member of ARG.

Her derby career started with G-Force in December 2012 but long before that she was an art skater for over 11 years. Unfortunately, as an art skater she learned how to fall a very specific way, so falling on her knees was an incredibly difficult transition for her to make. You spend 11 years learning to fall on the meaty part of your thighs and rear, and then derby strapped some pads on her and told her to hit her knees first, it was counter-intuitive to her previous training to say the least. But she made it through that to her first bout in a co-ed invitational and then with her team against Smokey Mountain Rollergirls. She remembers the highs and lows of that bout well, an injured teammate but they won.

If you want to get on TuTu’s good side she really likes tutus, in case her name didn’t tell you. Pink, purple, glitter, light up yeah, she probably has that kind of tutu at home. And at least when you have a name like TuTu it is easy to pick your number, or sometimes your number picks your name when a lot of things in your life revolve around the number 22. But clowns can just stay away. Far, far away. If she was the lawyer that she originally wanted to be when she was growing up there would probably be a standing restraining order on all clowns getting within 100-yard radius, but she became a master barber instead. That’s right, this fiercely fabulous blocker extraordinaire can also provide a nice close shave with a straight razor. Don’t ask her to do your makeup though, that’s not her thing.

TuTu has one of the longer drives for ARG players to get to bouts and practices as she lives in Belmont NC right now and commutes up to Boone for practice, a fact that we are eternally grateful for. She has a day job that seems to involve her posting pictures of amazing looking food to make the rest of us jealous. Or maybe there is other accounting work going on behind the scenes. All we know, is that she’s happiest whenever she is on skates, and the only break she really took from skating was to get married and have a kid. Since he skates too we are giving them both a pass on that one. She made up for it by working to foster the love of derby in others and encouraging new skaters. She has an abundance of derby littles as well as two current derby wives. And if you want to see her at some of her happiest you should check her out when she’s on the track.

Buy the woman a hotdog after practice, make it grilled crispy so that it’s a little black then smother it in chili, cheese and ketchup, but leave the mustard at home, she takes enough shots of that at practice and hates every slurp.

Photo Credit: Terry Bruce

Don’t Hate, Speed Date! 2017

By: Rainbow Rucker

Appalachian Rollergirls is proud to announce the annual Valentine’s Day Speed Dating event is here!

Our third annual Don’t Hate, Speed Date! is scheduled for Sunday February 12th at Cafe Portofino in Boone, NC. The event is for the 18+ crowd and welcomes anyone who is interested in making a connection. Looking for love? Great! Come on down. Looking to make a new friend? We’ve got several for you. We welcome all orientations, all love, all friendship. Doesn’t matter what you’re interested in, as long as it includes a good time you’re welcome here!

The event costs $10 for participants and while you can register at the door you can also RSVP right now by contacting holtforty5@gmail.com. We look forward to having you, and who knows, your date could end up being an ARG skater, if you play your cards right.

Flyer Credit: Holt45

Fundraiser at Canyons, Blowing Rock

By: Rainbow Rucker

Appalachian Rollergirls is proud to partner with Canyons Historic Restaurant and Bar in Blowing Rock for our first fundraiser for the 2017 bout season. Monday February 6th, Canyons will donate a portion of your meal to ARG. We will also be there, hanging out and enjoying the great food ourselves. If you want a chance to get to meet some of the fiercest women in the high country when they aren’t on their skates, this is your opportunity. In addition to great food and a chance to rub elbows with your favorite ARG skater, there will also be merchandise for sale. This is the time to pick up a great new shirt, support a local non-profit, and have great food all at once. We hope to see you there!

Flyer Credit: Holt45

Skater Quiz

Ever wanted to know which ARG skater you secretly are? One of our fierce females put together a little quiz to help you out. All of our skaters have their own unique style for skating and their take on every day life. Figure out which skate you line up best with, and come see us at our final homebout of 2016. You can cheer extra hard for the skater who best represents you!