Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Sports

June 20, 2009

‘Buffalo Lil’ stampedes in Roller Derby

January through September, Glasgow native Lillian Matthews is someone else.

After strapping on a pair of roller skates and donning her trademark black cowboy hat, Matthews becomes “Buffalo Lil”: an athlete tough enough to stand beside shiver-inducing names such as Jailbreak Jenny, Carrie A. Glock and Anna Nicole Smite.

Matthews is one year into her stint as a member of the Derby City Roller Girls (DCRG), a Roller Derby team based out of Louisville.

Matthews joined DCRG a year ago, and spent months working her way up through team ranks.

Upon joining the team, she endured an eight-week “boot camp” and survived six weeks of practice as “fresh meat” before becoming a full-time member of the team.

“We have our team set-up that way to make sure girls are absolutely trained in playing and committed to being on the team,” Matthews said.

According to DCRG’s official brochure, Roller Derby consists of ten players, five from each team, skating around a circular track and playing offense and defense simultaneously.

For each team, there is a jammer who fights to pass the opposing team’s skaters to score points. There is a pivot who “sets the pace for the pack of skaters” and three blockers who do their best to keep the opposing jammer from getting past.

Matthews said her greatest Roller Derby moment came in a “bout” in Lexington, when she sliced through the pack to grab the role of lead jammer, the most powerful position on the track.

“Being the lead jammer means that I beat out (the other team’s) jammer to the front of the pack, and I was eligible to come back through the pack and score points,” Matthews said. “Getting to be a jammer is a huge responsibility. They are some of the fastest and most in-shape girls on the team. I am trying to work my way up to jamming more, so anytime I get the chance to and get to be the lead is a pretty big deal to me.”

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