Kaptivating Kidz: Roller Derby Revival with Junior Gems

Kaptivating Kidz: Roller Derby Revival with Junior Gems

Violet No Regard, Tie Die and Rattle Snake, names like these make up the Reservoir Dolls Roller Derby team in Eugene.

Bridget "Budda Thunder" Davidson summed it up quite well. "It's a competitive sport. It's a competitive sport with a lot of contact and a lot of teenage girl angst so there's going to be some tears and crying."

A feisty mob of girls from junior high to seniors in high school, the Reservoir Dolls are the best of the best. A traveling team for the Junior Gems, a third year program that is an off-shoot of the adult squad, the Emerald City Roller Girls.

Natalia "Roma Mafia" Vasquez described it like this, "You're best friends for one minute and then just that small little whistle says, 'ok friendship over. it's time to really go at 'cha now"

The sport of roller derby is much more refined than that of  what many might recall as the hey-day of derby back in the 1950's, 60's and 70's.

Taelyr "Spunkee Bruizer" Loyer is often asked the same questions, "Do you get to use your elbows? Do you punch people in the face? No, there's rules. It's not like that anymore."

"W.F.T.D.A. came around, the Women's Flat Track Derby Association, and that really got it going."

Even with all of the new rules, regulations and referees for Derby now, it still warrants a badge of toughness back in the hallways at school.

When Brianna "Killa Kandy" Hulick heads to her locker she often hears the whispers.  "When I walk away they turn to their friends and are like, ' see that girl? she's in derby.'

Just because the pro wrestling element is gone, it doesn't mean battle scars aren't still earned and honored and they happen.

"Somehow it turns into a prize. I am honored to have this huge bruise on my leg and have this huge rash because of fishnets." Vasquez added, "This is our personality. When else can you get to go and dress like it's Halloween?"

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