Roller derby hits Sweetwater

Roller derby is officially in Sweetwater!Wait, what's roller derby? Head on out to the Nolan County Coliseum Annex on Saturday, April 12 and you'll find out! Sweetwater's first women's roller derby league, Dark Horse Roller Derby, is hosting a "mash up" bout to introduce the sport they love to the community they live in.Women from various teams all over the state of Texas will be coming together for a fun-filled and action-packed bout. "We want to introduce a sport that we're extremely passionate about to the community at large," said Jessica "Abby Sciutokill" Galindo, league president. "We've worked very hard to bring roller derby to Sweetwater and we plan on sticking around for a long time."Roller derby is a sport dating back to the 1930s. Modern day roller derby was resurrected in Austin in 2003 and has exploded internationally with thousands of teams, men's teams as well as women's. The game today is played in a completely different way, but the same basic concepts still apply: Women and men on roller skates, skating counter-clockwise, trying to score as many points as possible. That is an INCREDIBLY simplistic explanation of the sport, though. There are rules upon rules to the sport, and they change nearly every year. "Roller derby is always changing and that really keeps us on our toes," said Amber "Barbwire" Wingo, current captain. "You have to be able to play defensively and offensively pretty much at the same time."A lot of people will remember roller derby on TV from the 60s and 70s, but let me tell you now THE GAME HAS CHANGED! While we still like to provide entertainment, this is a REAL sport. We take the game seriously. We kept the funny/tough nicknames, and upped the athleticism. We have sweated, bled, and cried tears of pain, frustration and joy. "We aren't playing around when we're on the track," said Betty "Fifinailya" Carter. "Sure, we're smiling and having fun because roller derby is fun, but we're very serious. We hit hard and take hard hits. We get knocked down and knock people down. It's all a part of the sport, though."As with any other full contact sport, injuries occur. Myself, I've dislocated the same shoulder several times. I've watched four girls break their ankle, seen several concussions, multiple bloody noses and smashed fingers. Bruises are plentiful in the world of roller derby and are worn like badges of honor. Every precaution is taken and all protective gear is worn at every bout NO MATTER WHAT, but accidents happen. Despite the risk, we keep going because this is what we love. Being a non-profit organization, we need the help of our community and sponsors. Putting on a bout is expensive and we have various other costs. So far, our sponsors have been a tremendous help and those community members that know about us have been extremely supportive. We know the only way for us to get the backing of the community is to help the community, so for this bout a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the West Texas Children's Advocacy Center (WTCAC). Executive Director Teresa Zarate and some of her staff will be at the bout on April 12 with some information about the WTCAC. Please come and show your support not only for us, but for the wonderful people at the WTCAC and everything they do."Roller derby is our passion and we hope it is infectious," said Adrian "Grease Munky" Galindo, head coach. We are currently at the beginning of our season and we hope to do much, much more in the coming months. We have a wonderful group of men and women ready to give back to our community, to make our presence known, and hopefully stick around for years to come.Tickets are available for pre-sale at Creative Graphics Solutions, Fastenal, Papagayos and The Lumberyard for $8. Tickets will be sold at the door for $10 to the general public; military, college students, and senior citizens for $8; children 12 and under are free. Find us on Facebook under Dark Horse Roller Derby and check out our website at, where you can also purchase tickets.A special thanks to all of our sponsors for making our dreams a reality: Ludlum Measurements, Sweetwater Jaycees, Buck's Steaks & Bar-B-Que, Creative Graphic Solutions, Stanley Ford, Derksen Portable Buildings, Rhino Trucking, Texas National Bank, Lisa's Cocina, Lamar Auto Sales, Wicked Skatewear, McClurg Auto Parts, Sweetwater Collision Center, Family RV Center and Casa Morales Restaurant.