BRATTLEBORO -- Lisa Williams once made a living treating boo-boos and making people feel better, but these days she is known as Spark an Burn and she’s the one inflicting the pain.
The former nurse is a co-captain for the Elm City Derby Damez, an all women’s roller derby team from Keene, N.H., who will take on a squad from Dover, N.H., on Saturday, July 12, at Living Memorial Park. The Nelson Withington Arena’s doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the action will begin at 6 p.m.
"Spark often becomes a target by other teams because of her abilities to completely destroy opposing jammers," said teammate Sarah Farnsworth, who goes by Daisy Duke Nukem during bouts. "She is best known on the track as a destroyer."
The Derby Damez come into this contest with a 2-3 record. The July 12 bout will be a rematch from a couple months ago, when Elm City went to Dover, N.H., and defeated Seacoast Roller Derby.
"We love them as a team. We have known them for a long time, as their coach, Johnny Blaze, was once our coach way back when the league first started," noted Farnsworth. "It is fun to see him and give him our special brand of sass. He deserves it for all those suicides he made us do all those years ago."
The skaters are hoping for a packed house on July 12. And they are waiving the usual $10 admission fee in order to make it happen.
"We are testing this out and the bout on the 12th will be by donation at the door," said Farnsworth.
Because of the skaters’ outfits and catchy nicknames, people often assume that roller derby is fake like WWE. But the hard falls to the track are real and none of the exciting action is scripted.
In the sport that rewards skaters for breaking through the pack first and doing laps, the Damez have a nice point-scorer in jammer Killbitch Enrage. During Elm City’s home opener in mid April, she overpowered her foes late in the bout and started pumping her fist as she coasted past the crowd.
That may have been the highlight for the adults in the arena, while the children seemed to be equally pumped up about the souvenirs, snacks and the wheel toss game that was played during the intermission.
Farnsworth, who is the team’s starting pivot, said that she loves to bring havoc to the pack with strong wall reinforcements and booty blocks. And she often helps pave the way for the Elm City jammer, assisting blockers Wench Press, Gangreene, Bitches Bruise, Demonic Delight, Don’t Care Bear, and Spark an Burn.
And the team from Keene is siked to be bringing from Monadnock Roller Derby out of Antrim substitute skaters Mongol and Sally Gator.
The program that you get prior to the bout will simply give you each skater’s nickname and number. The Damez’ backers know a little bit more.
As in, Wench Press is an avid biker, Don’t Care Bear used to be a speed skater, and the destroyer that goes by Spark an Burn is an ex nurse. And they say that Farnsworth finds a phone booth before each matchup -- going from mild-mannered insurance agent to a terror on wheels.
Shane Covey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.