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 Passion, Hard Work, Corazon… ACRG’s Road to Glory

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Germanator

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Posts : 826
Join date : 2010-01-25
Age : 45
Location : San Antonio

PostSubject: Passion, Hard Work, Corazon… ACRG’s Road to Glory   Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:59 pm

Passion, Hard Work, Corazon… ACRG’s Road to Glory

by Sergio Barrera on Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 9:26pm ·



It’s a Thursday night and I am at the Rollercade at Recoleta, home base of the Alamo City Rollergirls. Unique sounds fill my ears as I sit watching practice. The sounds of skate wheels on the wooden floor, the distinct sound of the wood groaning as skater change directions, the occasional whistle from the Germanator, ACRG’s coach, or his voice calling out “5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Sprint…” all of these sounds come together for me in a wave, transporting me to a place where passion and heart are the fuel of the rollergirl. This is flat track roller derby, and this league, the Alamo City Rollergirls are preparing for their Tejanas home opener on Sunday March 11th.

I’m here tonight with the special assignment of interviewing two skaters at the core of the Tejanas team. Team captains CC Boom and Skullyvera bleed the green and black of ACRG and were selected to be the 2012 season’s team captains. They both came to derby on separate roads, Skully being in derby since March of 2006 after a chance meeting with a King William vendor who handed her a flyer. CC ran across a flyer herself and in 2009 began her derby journey.

My hope was to not only get to know the two leaders of the Tejanas team, but in doing so to try to put a finger on what makes this derby experience, particularly through this particular league, so compelling. What proceeded to happen was a candid and honest view of these two skaters, their team and the experience as a whole. Join me in reliving this experience as you read their words.

What are some of the greatest aspects of your derby experience?

CC: “Getting to meet cool people, making new friends and new family…”
Skully: “It makes the athlete come out in you, I was never into sports. Now I know if I put my mind to something I know I can do it...”
CC: “I’m on the other end of the spectrum, I grew up playing sports. I played club soccer, college soccer. Derby is a good way to get the athleticism out there. Also I love traveling! We’ve gotten to go to some cool places. Went to New Orleans, had never been there… that was a lot of fun!”
Skully: “Yeah… also getting to see some great skaters, skating against some badass skaters… We just scrimmaged against Texas who is number 3 in the nation. We didn’t skate against the Texies (The Texas Rollergirls travel team The Texecutioners) but the teams we did skate against had some of their skaters…”

What are some of the important aspects of your roles as captains of the team?
CC: “Keeping everybody calm. It’s what I need to work on. It starts with me (laughs). I need to be a leader and it’s about setting the pace for the girls.”
Skully: “And it’s a learning experience. It’s not like you come into it as captain and you should know what to do. When I was first chosen I was like “what the hell?”, but I learned. What I learned the best thing to do is be honest. You can’t sugarcoat it because if everyone sees (issues) you have to talk about it and be honest.”
CC: “I’ve been a captain of my soccer team in school but it’s different… back then we’re all followers and do as we’re told. Now we are dealing with grown women who have their own personalities and what they think is right. Communicating is very important. You have to be respectful and like Skully said you have to be honest but some people need it in a more positive way others are just straightforward. We are all women with our own lives and we don’t like being told what to do…”
Skully: “Exactly, that’s the difficult part. You have to keep that balance.”
So then as the leaders of this team, what are your expectations of those who surround you?
CC: “I expect everybody to come to practice ready to work. We all have jobs, we all put in hours. But we are all here for the same goal. I expect the team to want to win, to learn our plays and utilize them. That’s not too much to ask is it?
Skully: “It shouldn’t be! I agree, it’s the same for me, if I’m here on time we should all be here on time. If I am sweating when Coach says sprint then I want to see you out of breath, not strolling. Most of the team has been here a while. We know that “sprint” means push it. If you are one of my fastest skaters, why am I passing you up? I want us all to do our best to be perfect.”
As the season opener approaches what are the things that are the most challenging?
CC: The big things right now are getting our jammers agile, my answers will be more about the technical aspects, sticking walls, utilizing plays, fitness, endurance…”
Skully: “Yeah, endurance”
CC: “It’s a long season and we want to improve our rankings. We aren’t going to do that training the way we’ve been training. We are holding skaters accountable to do more on their own. We have three practices a week where we should be scrimmaging and practicing our plays. We need to build our team communication.”
Skully: “We also have been trying to get to a point where we do more as a team outside of practice because we need to learn more about each other so that we know how to communicate with each other. The more we learn about each other the easier that will be.”
Sum up your passion for derby in 3 words…
Skully: The easiest way I can say it is “Abrazos Y Chingazos”! One minute you’re hitting someone and then nest minute your saying “I love you!”
CC: (Laughing) “Yeah, for me it’s passion, dedication and leadership.”
You’re a little less than one week away from your season opener. What would your message to your team, the Tejanas, be?
Skully: “That I think we are better than we think. When you step back and you see it, it’s all going beautiful, but sometimes we don’t see it. Skating against Texas recently , the first 5 jams were awesome because we were doing it without even thinking and it was beautiful. We need to believe that is who we are.”
CC: “We need to stick to our guns. We train so hard and spend so much time on the track together on learning plays, practicing walls, jumping the apex. I want us to bring that to the bout. When we start to think and it starts to blow up in our faces, we need to do what we practice and get it done. If we execute what we practice we will be on point.”
If I know them, the Pistoleras would seek your wisdom as well. What do you say to them?
CC:” I say take my spot! Get up here!”
Skully: “Yeah I know! Exactly!”
CC: ”I would say train hard…”
Skully: “Harder…”
CC: “Talk to us and ask all the questions that you can. We need great people coming up… We’re building for the future. It’s not like derby is going anywhere. We need to be strong and build for the future. I want us to have 16 strong skaters on the Tejanas so that we have to scratch our heads to decide who we’re gonna put in. We need them to train hard and get up here.”
Sum up the derby experience for me…
Skully: “Puro Pinche Derby… and Corazon!”
As they got up from the table, donning their helmets, skating back to the track, I couldn’t help but think of those last words. Skully said “Corazon”… heart… and I realized that is exactly what I see every time I encounter this awesome group of ladies. They are women of heart, striving toward a bigger prize, but doing so together as a team. This season stands to be a season of growth, success and above all victory. But through it all they will skate with love, passion and CORAZON… as a family.
Puro Pinche Derby indeed…
****************************************************************************
Come see the Tejanas of the Alamo City Rollergirls take on Red Stick Roller Derby from Baton Rouge, Louisiana thisSunday, March 11th at the Rollercade, 223 Recoleta.

_________________
Germanator
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germanator.carsten@gmail.com
www.alamocityrollergirls.com

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