Pressure Cooker #61 first graced HRD with her presence at our bootcamp in 2011. I would have described her as clunky and awkward, as most of us are when we put skates on for the first time. This woman defines hard work and dedication, and is proof that it all pays off. She always pushes harder and does not understand giving up. This self proclaimed former band nerd (clearly the marching band is much cooler than portrayed in the media) marched her way off the soccer track and into many other sports in high school. Pressur Cooker, “PC” to her teammates, learned early on how thrilling life can be, and has attacked it with an aggressive “can do” attitude. Dabbling in all kinds of sports PC has found her true love with roller derby. The passion she has for the sport and her teammates seeps through her pores. You may think she’s really sweaty, but really it’s her passion leaking out! When not on the track PC spends her off time downhill mountain biking, skiing, and any other outdoor adventure that can fulfill her need for thrills. Although, “off time” is a somewhat foreign term to this full time HSU student. With only one month left in her final semester PC is beginning to see the light at the end of the college tunnel, as well as a degree in Environmental Management and Protection. Not only is she a hard working, dedicated skater, but she also cares about the environment! Could she be any more PC?! As if her schedule wasn’t busy enough, PC also pours a mean beer at The Local(one of our awesome sponsors). If you’re lucky you could have your beer poured by Humboldt Roller Derby’s very own Pressure Cooker. Somehow it tastes better when she pours it! Pressure Cooker has the best attitude on and off the track. She’s the most encouraging teammate and friend. With a truly honest and sweet soul PC was a natural fit for coaching the Sapling’s. The girls love her, and she honestly cares about each and every one of them. Our training camp also benefits from her knowledge and dedication as a trainer. I’m proud to be on the same team as this smiling, happy, kick-ass lady. I’m equally as happy to not have play on a team opposite of her! When I walk on that track and see PC next to me I feel more confident just knowing she’s by my side. Everyone that’s part of the HRD family has benefited in some way because of her true love and dedication to the sport and her team. Humboldt Roller Derby loves you Pressure Cooker! You will always be a special part of our family!!
photo by Amy Kumler
Ruckus started her skating career with Humboldt Roller Derby in January of 2009. Shortly after in 2010 she started a ruckus in our training camp, and has stuck with it, being one of our most dedicated level 2 trainers for four years now. After years of training, coaching came naturally to Ruckus. She started coaching in our 2013 season, and has stuck with it through this season. A series of unfortunate injuries has kept Ruck from fulfilling her career as a skater, but has given HRD the chance to take full advantage of her awesome coaching skills. We have been lucky to have her as a bench coach for most of our bouts last season as well as the beginning of this season. As a bench coach Ruckus started and mastered the infamous I’m pissed at that ref call hair flip with the hand. If you watch her closely at a bout you may be able to witness it in action!
Ruckus brings a different kind of attitude to the track t hat keeps things fun while still whoopin butt! She’s always smiling while telling us “y’all need ta get lower, skate faster, and/or hit harder…..know wut I’m sayin…..don’t be talkin, just do it”. I never know if she’s smiling because she’s so proud of us, or because finally she has a group of people that do exactly what she says when she say’s it. She says jump, we say how high….deep down inside she glows a little because of this fact.
While Ruckus’ coaching and skating style can be in your face/hustle like there’s no tomorrow, she has an extremely caring and somewhat delicate side to her. She has a super sweet bull mastiff named Rudy who actually gets sympathy pains. Yes, that’s right, every time Ruckus gets injured Rudy starts limping in pain. Then they heal at the same time, how adorable! Ruckus is also an extremely dedicated friend and teammate. When we’re rolling with Ruckus we know we got our backs covered! And I speak from experience when I say that she will literally slap the sense into you if need be, now that’s a good friend!!
On a more personal note, Ruckus has to be the BIGGEST Raider’s fan EVER! She knows more sports trivia than most people’s brothers, fathers, and grandfather’s combined. As a child she had dreams of Bobby Brown and Marvin Gaye, and still does on a good night. Your Ruckus bringin, Jordan sportin, Wu-Tang linstenin, Bobby luvin self is so loved and appreciated by everyone at HRD! Thanks for being you!
Slithering into our September skater of the month spot is… Snakes Anna Plane!
Snakes Anna Plane, number 747, started with Humboldt Roller Derby just over a year ago, quickly making her way through the ranks to secure a spot with our home team, HRD’s Widow Makers. Teammates take notice that she is a fast learner, and predict that she will be skating with our A team, the Redwood Rollers, in no time. Playing both blocker and jammer positions as needed, she has proven to be as flexible as her reptilian alter-ego. Snakes is a fearless skater, never afraid to try out new moves on the track, continuously leaving opposing players screaming, “Enough is enough! I have had it with these mother effin snakes on this mother effin plane!”-Snakes on a Plane, (New Line Cinema 2006). See her killer moves for yourself at our last home bout of the season, this Saturday, 9/14.
Teammates take notice of her dedication to improvement and say that she helps to keep them dedicated through her example. Always cool and collected, she is someone for new skaters to emulate and has proven how far you can come with the right amount of effort and dedication to the sport. Seeing how far she has come in just a year of skating leaves us in amazement thinking of how far she will go as a Derby skater. With a background in ice-skating, it’s no wonder she’s a natural on quad skates.
Off the track Snakes works as a graphic designer, volunteering her skills in our own PR committee, and as a founder of our new graphic design team. Snakes also works for Holly Yashi designing advertisements and catalogs for this popular local business. You can see some of her work yourself in much of our own program graphics and merchandise designs.
Fun Facts: Snakes loves adventure, but is ironically scared of snakes. She is a jack of all trades, from sailing to sewing she is skilled at a variety of things, but she is best known for her ability to make ridiculous faces in pictures.
Olé!Olé!Olé!Olé!Olé…Cholé! You know the song, and hundreds of fans sing along as Olé speeds around the track and jumps the apex! It doesn’t get more exciting than that. A true crowd pleaser, Olé is a fearless jammer with immense talent.
Olé Cholé first joined Humboldt Roller Derby at the end of last season. Her first bout with our league was against Sacred City, where she jammed for the Rollers. Olé says that she has been skating for 3 years now, and “taught myself how to skate by throwing on skates and skating everywhere- school with a backpack, to and from parties, errands shopping, everywhere. You learn quick on the streets with gallons of milk in each hand or a backpack full of school books! I even walked into my classes with my skates on… up and down stairs on campus and everything”. All that skating has clearly paid off, and anyone interested in skating could take a page from her book and practice whenever, and wherever possible.
This dedication to skating has helped her as one of our Saplings coaches, where she has helped girls jump and leap into becoming smart strong derby players, in one of the Saplings strongest seasons ever. Olé continues to bring her influence and inspiration to our boot-camp for beginning skaters this season.
Olé’s Derby wife, Ragin’ Reg of the Tsunami Sirens remembers, “The minute Cholé walked into NCRD practice, I knew she was something special”. Olé credits Reg for teaching her how to skate fast, which is now her ” superpower”. She also says that Sloppy Joe, Reg’s husband (who is on a top ten MRDA team), challenged her to try new things and taught her how to jump the apex. Olé remembers, “a year after skating on my own I was recruited to play with Redding, North Coast Roller Derby, Trinity Roller Derby, and Mendo’s 707 Co-Ed coalition. I wasn’t old enough to join HRD so I skated with the Sirens until I was 21 then transferred with their blessing”. With all these teams that would love to have her, we are lucky she has found a home with HRD.
All of this skill has not given this skater of the month a big head though, as skaters take notice that she always appreciates the help and input. “She asked questions, she tried things and repeated them over and over until she got them right and then she moved on to the next thing. And she still keeps doing that til this day”-Ragin’Reg. Reg also says that, “I predict Olé Cholé will be derby famous across the nation before we know it. She is young, coachable, energetic and a natural athlete. In addition to all that, she is the sweetest girl I have ever met. The entire world was blessed with her arrival……..not just the derby world!” … we couldn’t agree more.
One more time for Olé, sing it with us!, Olé!Olé!Olé!Olé!Olé…Cholé!
Fascinating fact: When not skating Olé can be found crafting, making jewelry and hula hoops, and collecting specimen from dead whales on the beach.
It is my pleasure to introduce Humboldt Roller Derby’s volunteer of the month, Tiffany Reynolds!
Tiffany says she got into volunteering with HRD when her daughter, Predatori, started skating with the Saplings 3 years ago. Tiffany first learned to skate at HRD’s boot-camp but wanted to devote her time to helping the Saplings program. This super-volunteer is at EVERY practice performing duties ranging from coaching, to wrangling, to bout set up/break down, administrative functions, and even rendering first aid when needed!
Fellow volunteers say that Tiffany has been a cornerstone of the Sapling program from day one. She is at every practice to support the girls and the coaches in whatever way they need. She is always positive, present and willing to do whatever it takes to help the program run smoother.
Tiffany is a “Derby mom” in the true sense of the term…filling her van with Saplings to recruitment drives at schools, organizing the skaters for Rules Demos, or just taking skaters to the skate park for some weekend practice. She and her husband also donate their time and money to train the Sapling coaches in CPR & First Aid.
Coach Thunder says, ” I can’t express in words how valuable she is to the HRD Jr. program, she is a go-to woman for other Sapling parents…making herself available for questions and concerns”.
When asked why she volunteers, Tiffany said “My favorite part of volunteering is seeing the confidence that is instilled in the young Saplings as they learn to skate and the awesome coaches that teach them. Watching my daughter develop into an awesome skater in a full contact sport that she has grown to love is a big part of the reason that I continue to volunteer “and that, “My favorite part of HRD is watching the young girls of the community looking up to the strong role models that the Rollers are for them”.
Please join us in thanking Tiffany, and all of our volunteers, who make Humboldt Roller Derby and our Saplings program possible.
You know her as Villain, but she is a hero of Humboldt roller derby. Villain began her derby career in October of 2010 and quickly worked her way onto the Redwood Rollers All-Star Team in February of 2011. Growing up, Villain would terrorize the boys on her local ice and quad hockey teams, and also played on her high school’s field hockey team. Villain Thomas is the total package, playing both jammer and blocking positions. As a jammer you’ll see her bright orange hair glistening like fire as she speeds around the track, blowing kisses to the audience. In either position she ensures that opposing blockers “Do not go gentle into that night” as she pummels them out of bounds with fierce strength and incredible accuracy. Not only a hero, but a leader in HRD, Villain is one of our leagues coaches and Newbie Trainers, molding our skaters and helping even the most accomplished members hone their skills with a kindness and understanding like no other.
When Villain is not punishing her opponents on skates, she is preparing to be a graduate student in HSU’s English department’s masters program. She also works at S.T.I.L., Humboldt County’s premier skate shop, where she helps new and veteran skaters find the gear and skates of their dreams. In her free time, Villain is a master of knitting, embroidery, and sewing. She is also a lover of gardening, spending countless hours nurturing flowers, vegetables, and her extensive collection of carnivorous plants.
Thank you Villain for all of your hard work on and off skates. You are an inspiration to us all!