The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

June 1, 2013

4-wheeled passion: Enid Roller Girls vie for recognition among top leagues

ENID, Okla. — Enid’s girls of the roller derby are tough. They have to be.

The small squad is an underdog this year, trying to break into national rankings as they play against leagues, or teams, already accustomed to division play in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association.

Just three years old, Enid Roller Girls are known to WFTDA as an apprentice league. Before they can graduate to one of the sport’s three divisions, though, they have to compete against the more well-established players and prove they’ve got what it takes to hang.

Breakout

Team captain Andrea Watkins said ERG has already made its application to WFTDA and is waiting to hear back.

“Of course, we’re playing teams this year that have been skating for six or seven years, so we’re kind of at a disadvantage. But we do what we can,” said Watkins, who skates under an alter-ego known as Scream & Sugar.

Their first home bout of the season was Saturday night at Skatetown against Oklahoma City Roller Derby. ERG had already faced OKCRD’s “B” squad, but took the floor with their top-flight skaters.

“It’s going to be a tough bout for us, but we’re going to do what we can,” Watkins said before a training session earlier this week.

She’s a jammer, a position on the track typically reserved for smaller, faster skaters who can weave in and out of the pack and back around the oval to score. During any point in the contest, there’s only one jammer per team, identified by the star on their helmet.

In front of the two jammers are the “strong wall” of eight blockers – four opponents and four teammates. Pug Nasty is one of those blockers.

“Whatever I do, I’m not going to let ’em pass,” said the three-year veteran of ERG’s squad, who goes by Gwen Emerson while away from the track. “A lot of these jammers can skip a beat and get right past you.”

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