Soul City Sirens end roller derby season on sweet note

By day, they are schoolteachers, accountants and stay-at-home moms. Sunday nights are a different story.

The Soul City Sirens are Augusta's only roller derby team. Women on roller skates gain points by pushing and blocking other players out of the way in order to pass them.

The Sirens were started three years ago by Jessica Thompson, who long had been interested in roller derby but could not find a team nearer than one hour away. Thompson advertised an informational meeting through word of mouth and the Internet and said she was shocked when 17 people showed up for the first meeting. Almost all of those agreed to help her form the Soul City Sirens.

That first year was spent training because all of the women were novice derby skaters. After that, they started competing and ended their 2010 season Sunday night with a 158-92 win for a 9-1 record.

Kim Smock, or "Princess Whackaho" as she is known on the rink, skates as a jammer, which means she skates through gaps in the other team's defense to rack up points.

Sunday's bout was Smock's last. She said leaving is bittersweet. Smock has had several derby-related injuries. She has been knocked unconscious several times and has had stitches on her chin and elbow.

Roller derby still has a special place in her heart, however, so she will still come around and help train new recruits.

"They're not going to get rid of me that easily," she said.

Injuries are a big part of roller derby -- putting the rink's sign reading "Skate at your own risk" in a whole new perspective.

Derby players wear mouth guards, helmets, knee pads, wrist guards and elbow pads.

"Derby is not kind to you," said Kristan Flores, otherwise known as "Damn Yankee."

Does all the blocking and hitting help release personal aggression and anger?

"Absolutely," Flores said. "My best hitting day was the day I had to fire someone (at work)."

The most unusual aspect of roller derby, as all the players agreed, is the camaraderie among the teams.

"We'll try to kill each other on the rink and then go buy each other beers at the after-bout party," Flores said.

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