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      Roller derby makes a comeback in the Keweenaw

      Katie Jo Wright, better known as â??Thimbleberry Slam,â?? had never skated before this past March when she decided to join the Keweenaw Roller Girls.

      The roller derby team that started in the fall of 2012 is beginning to pick up speed.

      â??Thereâ??s something spectacular about realizing that your body can move so swift and you can do things that are kind of insane on eight wheels,â?? said Wright.

      The sport, widely popular in the â??70s, has made a national comeback in recent years, but Keweenaw Roller Girls' president, Amanda Mears, or â??Nikrolla Tesla,â?? said many people donâ??t know much about the game.

      â??You score points by lapping members of the opposite team,â?? said Mears. â??There are five girls on the track from each team at a time, while one is the â??jammer,â?? and sheâ??ll have a star on the side of her helmet, and sheâ??s the one that scores all the points. The other four are all blockers.â??

      But what itâ??s certainly known for are the flashy outfits and the hits.

      â??Once you realize your force, itâ??s a lot of fun to give hits,â?? Wright said. â??Itâ??s kind of fun to receive them, too, as long as youâ??re still standing afterwards.â??

      Although the girls have picked up more members since its creation, they haven't yet been able to compete against other teams.

      â??We donâ??t really have enough on our own league that are ready to play, so we werenâ??t able to have a full season with our own team this year,â?? Mears explained. â??So, next summer weâ??ll probably have a full season with probably about five games through the summer.â??

      Wright said itâ??s been an addicting investment sheâ??s never regretted.

      â??Thereâ??s a lot of us who have never had skate skills, like me,â?? Wright said, â??and you just push through it and you try it, and itâ??s totally worth every drop of time that you put into it."