February 2015 Featured Skater: Wrecking Ball

She’s a beast on the track, regularly laying down the opposing teams’ jammers and picking up MVP trophies. Find out what “bad habits” this powerhouse veteran is trying to shake below!

Photo by Jason Scott

Photo by Jason Scott

Brooke Sloan, our previous Featured Skater, wondered how you manage being a skater, board member, and a mom. How do you make it all work?

Well, I don’t have a job, so that helps. Max, my 2 year old, has been a trooper. He pretty much goes everywhere with me except to derby, because he would try to tackle the skaters!

You’ve got 2 boys, and HKRG is branching out with co-ed opportunities. Do you think your boys will want to skate like you someday?

Reese, my 10 year old, is totally into it! We’ve gone skating a few times and he’s really great about getting up after falling and not getting frustrated, which is surprising because he gets frustrated with most other sports.

Photo by John Blood

Photo by John Blood

You’re a powerhouse as a blocker. How does it feel to know you leave opposing jammers quaking in their skates?

Ha! I don’t know if they “quake”, but it’s a pretty great feeling to smile at a jammer on the line and they take a deep breath and smile back hesitantly.

Every skater has her bad habits to work on, and I hear that one of your toughest was apologizing to opposing skaters you had laid out. How did you break that habit?

Oh, I still apologize sometimes, but I no longer feel bad for hitting opponents as hard as I can (most of the time).

How do you think your blocker skills have influenced your skating as a jammer?

Oh man! First of all, when I come in hot, I feel like a blocker and I want to hit someone as hard as I can! But then I go to the box… So I’m working on that. I think blocking has helped me a lot with my lateral skills to help avoid hits when jamming, especially working in the 4th lane so much.

Derby Pics by Phil

Derby Pics by Phil

As derby becomes a strategic sport centered on defense, what do you miss about the days when it was a high-speed bit-hit sport?

I soooo miss hitting someone as hard as I can at a fast pace. Best. Feeling. Ever. I loved watching girls go flying!

Did you ever wear outrageous boutfits, or have you always been a sportspants kind of girl?

I wore the fishnets for a little while when I first started, but once we got in the Coliseum on that awesome grippy floor, I had to give up the tights because my butt hits the ground way too much and I have other things to worry about than holes in my tights!

Photo by Rebecca Sword

Photo by Rebecca Sword

Your beloved derby wife, Miss Murder, has taken a break from derby (we refuse to admit retirement!); how have you adjusted to taking the track without your partner?

It’s been really tough without my better half on the track and making me laugh on the bench. I’ve adjusted because I didn’t really have any other choice. I have a job to do on the track. I’ve really been working on staying focused 100% and putting everything else out of my mind during games and practices. I do hope she will be back, but I also love seeing her face in the suicide section cheering me and our team mates on.

We’re about to start a new season, but let’s take a moment to reflect – what was your favorite moment of our 2014 season?

Oh man, there were so many great moments this year! I have to say that both of the Charlotte games were my favorite games of the season! The first one, in Charlotte, was a blast because it was my first time really jamming on the Allstars and I had such amazing blockers on the track with me and I’m pretty sure magic things happened. When we played Charlotte here in Knoxville, I think it was the first time we, as a team that season, REALLY enjoyed ourselves and just played as one unit and surprised Charlotte by giving them a run for their money. Charlotte also had such great sportsmanship, which always makes the game more enjoyable.

Who would you like to see the next Featured Skater? 

I would love to see Barbara Bushwhacker be the next featured skater! I want to know how she stays so calm and happy ALL OF THE TIME! She’s a great coach and teammate on and off the track and her insight into people is always so refreshing and positive. I wish I could see so much good in the world the way she does.