Names can be deceiving.
Roller-derby girls Domestic Disturbance, IV Ana Hitavich and Princess Whackho put fear into their opponents, but away from the rink, they’re just regular people, said Stephanie Amburn, who has been a member of the Soul City Sirens roller derby team since it was organized in 2008. Amburn is also known as Chachi O’Nasty.
“We’re just moms and teachers and accountants and librarians,” said the North Augusta resident, who is a mother and a secretary.
The Soul City Sirens, based in Augusta, is in its fifth season, said head coach Jason Craig, also a resident of North Augusta.
“It’s a lot like what was in the ’70s and ’80s except that we play on a flat track and it’s not staged,” he said, noting that the sport of roller derby is growing fast.
Fast-paced bouts with plenty of action contribute to the excitement of the sport, said Craig.
“It’s full-contact. They hit really, really hard,” he said. “It’s a very exciting game and it goes very, very fast.”
Amburn offered a similar description of the game.
“It’s extremely exciting to watch,” she said. “It’s competitive, fun to play.”
The team practices three times a week during most of the year. There are about 20 skating members on the team, including several from North Augusta.
Kim Smock, also known as Princess Whackaho, got involved with the sport because of her love of skating and competition. She has also been with the team from the beginning.
“It’s been gratifying,” said the North Augusta resident, speaking of her experiences with the Soul City Sirens.
She has enjoyed getting to know her teammates and honing her leadership skills, she said.
“It makes you get out of your comfort zone,” she said.
While several members have now been with the team for at least a few seasons, at one point many of them were considered to be raw meat or fresh meat.
Raw meat is someone who has never skated before and/or is new to roller derby. Fresh meat is someone who may have some experience in skating, has skated with another team or is someone returning to the team after being away.
Courtney Garcia, who is also a North Augusta resident, is one such member.
“I’ve skated leisurely in the past so I know how to skate,” said Garcia, who is considered fresh meat and hasn’t received a derby name yet. She has been attending practices with the Soul City Sirens for about 21/2 months, she said.
“It’s been a great experience for me so far,” she said.
People of varying experiences – from those who have never skated before to those who have been a member of a roller derby team elsewhere – are welcome to join the team, said Craig.
“The best thing to do is to come to a bout” to see what roller derby and the team are all about, he said.
The Soul City Sirens will have its next bout Sunday against the French Broads of Asheville, N.C., at Red Wing Rollerway in Augusta. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the bout will begin at 6 p.m.
For more information about the Soul City Sirens, visit soulcitysirens.com.