Clermont County will be well-represented Aug. 13 at Castle Skateland in Loveland when the Cincinnati Rollergirls Roller Derby League (CRRDL) will begin a revival of roller derby in Greater Cincinnati.
Geniene Hilberg of Batavia, Maggie Stites of Milford, and Rochelle Tieman of Amelia are members of this league.
Tieman, a 1985 graduate of Amelia High School, is a member of The Riots (team colors orange and black), one of four teams competing in the CRRDL. Hilberg is a member of the Bloody Sundaes (red and black), and Stites is a member of the Full Metal Corsets (black and blue). The other league team is the Dames of Destruction.
“I found out about the roller derby being around here in March. I read about it in a newspaper,” said Tieman who played fast pitch softball at Amelia.
“I love to skate and I see this as a chance to skate again, this time participating with a renewed sport. I love the roller derby. There is so much fun and excitement.
“I knew Cincinnati used to have a professional team with both men and women. I remember people talking about it.”
The Cincinnati (Mideast) Jolters competed in Cincinnati Gardens and were the 1971 and 1972 regular season champions of the Eastern Season of the International Roller Derby League.
They also skated in other Ohio and Kentucky cities and some cities in Indiana and Pennsylvania as the “home” team. In addition to the Jolters the other teams were the Midwest Pioneers (based in Chicago), the Eastern Chiefs (based in New York City), the Southern Eagles (based in Atlanta), the Southwest Red Devils (based in Phoenix), and the San Francisco Bay Area Bombers.
The Jolters’ (team colors black and blue) line-up included such roller derby distaff legends as Ann Calvello, Margie Laszlo, and Francine Cochu, and male legends Larry Smith, Cliff Butler, and Jerry Cattell.
“The first practice we had was in April and we’ve been practicing on Sundays at Beechmont Rollarena (in Tobasco) and Wednesdays at Castle Skateland (in Loveland),” said Tieman. “Our first (public) game will be Aug. 13 in Loveland. I am very excited.”
Paula Estes is a co-owner of the league. She said, “August 13 will be our first out. I’m very excited about it. It’ll be a big party. I’m not skating in the opener. I’m going to be the penalty box mistress.”
She pointed that the opening date is significant because on that date in 1937, the first-ever roller derby event took place in Chicago.
“I’ve skated my whole life. I’m very excited,” said Estes who lives in Blue Ash and is a graduate of Sycamore High School. “We have some very good talent. Our first sign was Marcia Yeager who competed on the United States Olympic speed team.
“I got involved in roller derby because I love skating, it’s fast, and it’s a contact sport and that all attracted me.”
“I want to kick butt, win, and score the winning point,” Tieman said. Her chances of scoring are not particularly good. She will be a blocker for The Riot. A blocker is usually in the middle of the 10-person pack when each play (jam) starts and is responsible for “stopping the opponents and helping my jammers (potential scorers) get through the pack” (to go around the track, catch up and pass each foe for a point apiece for every enemy skater passed).
“I have found out I have to work hard, but I love it. This is a lot of intense, hard core action. Fans will see a lot of action and excitement; speed and falling.”
“I’ve made some great friends through skating. If that’s all I get out of this I’ll be happy,” said Estes. “People who come can expect to see a really good sport and great excitement.”