Yep, you heard us right…we have so many fabulous skaters AND so many wonderful volunteers that we now can’t help but honor one of each every month!

First, a little shameless plug just to say that there are still a handful of tickets left for this Saturday’s bout – grab yours now while you still can!  The Widow Makers are taking on the Mendo Mayhem at 6:00, and the Redwood Rollers will be playing the San Diego Roller Derby Starlettes around 7:30.  We’ll be showing off some fresh new faces, so be sure to come support our brand new Widow Makers!  And of course, your favorite long-time pros.

Speaking of derby household names, we’d just love to congratulate Anya the Bunny Slayer as our July Skater of the Month!  An amazingly skilled, dedicated, and positive influence on all of her leaguemates since the very first HRD skate practice back in 2007, Anya doesn’t just skate – she also coaches, inspires, and wows everybody with her fabulous bout stats.  “Anya has been a source of inspiration for us wirey, long-limbed, tall folks,” says fellow skater Vena Schnytzel.  “Without a blink of her eye or a twitch of a rabbit’s whiskers, she can lay someone twice the size of her flat out!  Anya taught me that you don’t have to be big to be intimidating.  From the very beginning, Anya has always taken the time to show me drills and skills and has had the patience to explain them in a way both fresh meat and veterans can understand.”

For those not in the know, Anya’s name is a reference to a character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  “Anya is an outspoken vengeance demon terrified of bunnies,” says our own Anya of her namesake.  “I didn’t know how to skate before derby.  I was never into sports or very athletic growing up so this is the first sport I have been committed to, or obsessed over.”  She loves dancing, playing video games, collecting records, and chocolate.  By night, she is quite the fabulous DJ, spinning “electro-disco-punk-hip-hop” (say that 10 times fast!) whenever and wherever she can, including at this season’s HRD after-parties.

Another long-time face of HRD that you’ll probably recognize is our announcer (and Amazing Derby Dog) Jason & Shadow, both of whom we’d like to honor as our July Volunteers of the Month!  Jason has been the life of the party, making Humboldt Roller Derby bouts 10 times more exciting and easier to follow – with Shadow entertaining fans during half-times – since our very first bout.  Vena Schnytzel remembers meeting Jason back when she first started skating:  “I was first introduced to Jason when I was at STIL to purchase my first pair of skates and first lineup of protective gear.  That man gave me the Cadillac of sales pitches for my skates and gear, was super attentive without being intrusive, and I walked away happy I had made my purchase there…only to find out a month later that he actually does ALL of the announcing for HRD’s bouts played at home!

“Most announcers plop down at a table with a microphone, plenty of refreshments, and plenty of cheat sheets to look at to fill in awkward amplified moments.  No.  Not Jason.  This fu manchu-adorned announcer can be seen with just a small piece of paper, a mic and doing laps RUNNING around the track before bouts and during half-time, keeping the audience engaged, excited, and pumped to see roller derby!  Sometimes I think Jason gets more exercise being an announcer than the players!”

Thanks to both Anya and Jason, for all that you do for HRD!  You are part of what makes derby fun, exciting, and something skaters and fans all love being a part of.

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