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Laffite’s Ladies open roller derby season tonight

Last Modified: Thursday, February 28, 2013 5:58 PM

By Jordan Gribble / Special to the American Press

Local roller derby team the Lafitte’s Ladies will be skating into their new season with a match on Saturday, March 2, against Northside Fury from Houston.

For those who are unfamiliar with the sport, which has been increasing in popularity in the area in recent years, there are only a few details a person has to have to be primed to enjoy a match. The game is a full-contact sport played by two teams of five women on roller skates.

Each team has a designated jammer, which is that team’s scorer, with each team’s jammer trying to lap the other on a circular rink, while the other eight players try to block the opposing team’s jammer from scoring.

Assistant coach for the Lafitte’s Ladies Nathaniel Bryant said the team has made great headway in attracting a dedicated local fan base.

“This season the team will be spending a lot of time getting out into the public and spreading awareness of the sport. Last season our primary fans, the ones associated with members of the team, all came out and we had anywhere between 200 and 300 people packed in for every game. We’re hoping to have even more this season,” he said.

In its last season the team was ranked 14 out of more than 50 teams that play in the Derby South league, teams that stretch from Texas to Florida.

Bryant said the team’s focus this season is not on wins or losses, but on creating a team that will endure for seasons to come.

“We just came back from a three-month break after two years of back-to-back derbies, and have started practicing again. Our goals for the future are not to advance to a certain tournament, but are to advance in our athleticism and team cohesion,” he said.

Lafitte’s Ladies member Desiree Jaurez, who has been playing for two years, said she’s anxious to get back out onto the rink.

“To prepare for our first game of the season, we’ve all be skating around and doing endurance warm-up drills. We’re just ready to start playing again. When I put those skates on and start playing, it’s just so much fun, and very empowering. It’s fun to be able to say to another girl, ‘Hah! I knocked you down even though you’re bigger than me,’ ” she said.

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