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Cajun Rollergirls recruit, prepare for 2019 season

February 8, 2019

HOUMA, La. (AP) — Houma’s roller derby team, the Cajun Rollergirls, wants you.

The team, whose home rink is at Aggie’s Skate Connection, will begin its 2019 home season March 23 and is always looking for new players, referred to in derby speak as “fresh meat.”

League and team President Debra McInnes, whose roller derby name is “DeBruizer,” has been a part of the team for five years.

“I saw an advertisement in the newspaper recruiting for the Cajun Rollergirls,” McInnes said. “I showed it to my husband and said, ‘Hey, I can do this,’ and he said, ‘No you can’t, you’ll fall and bust a hip.’ ”

But McInnes’ husband, who is in the Coast Guard, mentioned it to a co-worker who had done roller derby in the past, and was convinced.

“Roller derby as a sport, as a team, we’re talking about women’s empowerment,” McInnes said. “It’s a very strong sisterhood. We have people from all walks of life. I’m a home health nurse, we have architects, we have engineers, we’ve got marine biologists, bartenders, moms, so you have a whole group of women here supporting each other. We’re great friends on and off the track.”

The team plays others from throughout Louisiana and sometimes travels to Texas and Mississippi.

The team is affiliated with the Women’s Flat-Track Derby Association, the ruling body for 430 full-member leagues and 39 apprentice leagues from all over the world. The terms “league” and “team” are used somewhat interchangeably. Currently, the Cajun Rollergirls are ranked 223rd in the world.

Fourth-year head coach Corey Callegan said the sport gets a bad rap for being too violent.

“It’s not violent; it’s rough,” Callegan said. “It’s like playing soccer, they hit about the same way. We play by a rule set that keeps the ladies safe. You can’t forearm anybody, you can’t trip anybody, you can’t hit anybody in the face. It’s not the old-school, 1970s roller derby.”

Marine biologist Denise Kinsey has been with the Cajun Rollergirls from the very beginning, and is the last player left from the original team.

“I was in love. I said, this is my life, I’m doing this,” Kinsey said. “I just love team sports, I’ve played soccer, I love the contact, this is just a good fit for me.”

The Rollergirls lost just one game last year, despite having a smaller roster than many of their opponents, and look to have another successful campaign in 2019.

But winning isn’t everything.

“We always want to grow the team,” Callegan said. “That’s always our primary goal.”

Women interested in joining should contact the Cajun Rollergirls via their Facebook page, facebook.com/CajunRollergirls.

Aggie’s Skate Connection is at 10592 E. Main St. in Houma.

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Information from: The Courier, http://www.houmatoday.com

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