Pump up the jam: Monadnock roller derby program is gaining momentum

By MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent
November 20. 2017 10:16PM
In the white helmet, Jessica “The Jessicutioner” Gerrior pushes her way through a roller derby scrimmage in a free event in Antrim Saturday. (Meghan Pierce/Union Leader Correspondent)

ANTRIM — The Monadnock Roller Derby program held its first “Pass the Biscuits” Thanksgiving Scrimmage at Great Brook Middle School on Saturday.

The roller derby event was free and open to the public and had members from six different New England roller derby teams competing against each other in the offseason scrimmage.

“They knock each other down and then they help each other up. They just love doing it,” said David Hallen of Manchester.

Hallen is the father of Monadnock Roller Derby member Jocelynn Drew, aka Cow Plow.

Hallen said he enjoys roller derby and the outlet it creates for his daughter and several of his granddaughters who play on Monadnock’s youth team.

“These are mostly professional women, they just have a need to come out here to hit somebody, because life can get a little frustrating,” Hallen said.

The Saturday scrimmage before Thanksgiving was also an opportunity for the Monadnock Roller Derby teams, the Mad Misfits and the Mad Knockers, to sell their new cookbook. Proceeds from the fundraiser help keep their youth team dues free, said Jessica “The Jessicutioner” Gerrior.

Monadnock Roller Derby is an incorporated non-profit with Gerrior serving as president of the board and Drew serving as vice president.

Gerrior, 40, is a doctoral fellow in environmental studies at Antioch University New England in Keene.

Drew, 41, is an art teacher at Hillsborough-Deering Middle School.

The Monadnock Roller Derby is based in the eastern part of the Monadnock Region and was started with many other roller derby teams in New England around 2009 and 2010.

“Our neighbor is the Elm City Derby Dames. They are based in Keene and Brattleboro (Vermont),” Gerrior said. “We’re one of more than 20 New England teams. … There’s hundreds of roller derby teams throughout the U.S. and it’s a worldwide sport and they are actually making a push to get it into the Olympics.

“We have worked really hard the last year to improve as a team. We went to our first regional championship and placed fourth out of six teams. Some of us skated in an All-State New Hampshire versus Boston (game) earlier this year and we won, by a lot.”

Drew said she is drawn to the sport by the family atmosphere of roller derby.

“I think it’s the family, just the roller derby family,” Drew said. “Everybody can get together from different teams and everybody knows each other and they love each other even though they fight each other. It’s just a lot of fun.”

There is a range of age, size and style in roller derby, Gerrior said. The sport is competitive and aggressive, but full of camaraderie.

“It’s about lifting each other up and it’s about giving people the space to be (their) most confident and assertive self,” Gerrior said. “Falling is just part of life. You just get over it and get back up.”

mpierce@newstote.com


NH PeopleAntrim

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