Hard Knox Rollergirls

The Hard Knox Roller Girls are Knoxville's first and only competitive WFTDA roller derby league.  Come see what all the fuss is about.

August Featured Skater: Mix Tape

This is the first season for this woman to lace up her skates and get on the track as a skater! She has been around the team and helping out for two seasons before she laced up. Want to know how she became a Hard Knox Roller Girl and peel back those layers to find out why she does what she does? Keep reading and see the answers in this month’s article! Congratulations to August’s featured skater, Mix Tape!

Pitbull Pistol picked you for August’s featured skater and she wants to know how it feels to finally be playing your first couple of games with Hard Knox Brawlers after being a great jam timer for a whole season and how does it feel to go home with MVP Blocker for those first two games?

Oh my gosh, it feels amazing! It was the most fun that I have had! I love finally being on the track and getting MVP was an amazing accomplishment to go along with that feeling. To be rostered for a game is something big to me, but to win MVP was something I was not expecting for my first couple of games.

Photo by John Blood

Photo by John Blood

This is your first season actually skating with Hard Knox, how long have you been involved with the team and helping out on game day? Was there any one job that you did all the time at games to help out?

I have been involved with the team for 2 years. I love being the Jam Timer. I get to be right there for the action and I also love being loud. Actually, I have had not only our team love it but I have had other teams compliment me on how good I am at it. I spent last season with the nickname of 5 SECONDS!

For those who don’t know what 5 SECONDS means or can’t hear that from the track, would you please explain what it means to yell it out and how important it is to the game?

This is an important role in the game, not only because I am good at it but it’s a vital part along with all the NSO positions. It means that in 5 seconds the whistle will sound and the jam is in play. It is very important that the skaters can hear the warning so they can get in their stance and ready to play the next jam, also to be on the track in play too. If a skater is not on the track after that warning is yelled out then they are not allowed to play that jam.

Photo by Rebecca Sword

Photo by Rebecca Sword

That is a very important part of the game! Between Jam Timing and now skating, what do you want to be when you grow up and why?

I want to be in the medical field. I am unsure of what exactly I want to do in the medical field since there are so many options, but I want to be able to help other people in their times of need. I may want to become a nurse but I have not chosen yet. I am currently a care giver and working on getting my CNA so I can get more involved in following my dreams.

Sounds like you have lots of big plans ahead of you. Nobody can go wrong when entering the medical field, I would know that, but never stop following your dreams. Speaking of dreams, was it a dream to become a Roller Girl? How did you get started in derby since you said you were a Jam Timer your first season and now actually skating for your second season?

I have always loved skating. Actually, my mom was the one to find out about the team and how to join and she talked me into it. I will say it did take a lot of talking! Who is crazy enough to get on skates and hit people? I guess I fit the crazy part now and I understand why! Surprisingly enough it was actually a dream of mine to join the team for 2 years before I actually did, but at that point in life my schedule never worked out for me to be able to join. I was always so busy with work or something, that it just didn’t fit in my schedule, but now I make sure I fit derby into my schedule.

Since this is your first season as a skater and not just helping the league, do you have any goals you want to reach this season or have for next season?

After my first game and learning the game, I have made it a goal for the rest of the season to work hard and walk away with an MVP award every game. I know that is a high goal, but I believe I can do it. As for next season, I will be working on getting my endurance at a better level and becoming an All-Star. I like setting the bar high because it pushes me to try harder.

Photo by John Blood

Photo by John Blood

Those are some high goals, but they say if you put your mind to it, you can do anything. Since you have played a couple of games, which game has been your favorite game so far?

So far my favorite game has to be my first brawler game in Charleston. I had worked so hard to be rostered and finally made it. That was not my only surprise; I was shocked when I got MVP Blocker for my very first game. It was a very rewarding feeling.

Ok, I have asked you a lot about derby, tell everyone what you like to do in your spare time when you’re not on the track.

I love to do anything fun including being a kid and playing some putt-putt or even enjoying a good game of paintball. I like to stay active by being busy with friends and hanging out with my teammates. This team has become my 2nd family and I would be lost without them.

Photo by Rebecca Sword

Photo by Rebecca Sword

What is something that nobody knows about Mix Tape?

Funny that you asked that because Mix Tape wasn’t even the name I had picked out for myself. I had originally picked out One Hit Wound Her for my derby name because I played softball, but I ended up changing it because there was a team close by that had the same name as that. So, I went to Bruise A-holic because I tend to collect bruises from unknown sources, but then I had a team mate, Paramanaic, think that I was mixed with white and African American, so she nicknamed me Mix Tape. Ever since then I have stuck with it. As for my number, I am a cancer and it’s the astrological symbol for cancer which is tattooed on my forearm.

Photo by Rebecca Sword

Photo by Rebecca Sword

Well those are a lot of unknown facts about you but I have one more final question for you. Who would you like to see as September’s featured skater and why?

Finally, the last question! I would love to see Lyda-kain as next month’s featured skater. She has been with the team for 3 seasons now and I would love to hear her stories from those seasons, along with knowing how it feels to lace up skates and skate with or against her own husband.

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