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2013 PA all-stars: The Alternates

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The alternates are the 15 & 16 slot on the list: the ones who are fighting to make the game day roster. These two, in particular, are powerhouse skaters and deserve your attention.

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AthenaSteel City Roller Derby

Athena is a monster. The first time I saw her was on a DNN broadcast a few years ago. I remember watching her at the back of the pack, sweeping back and forth (because you could do that then) and thinking to myself, “That’s a goal. My goal is to be able to get around someone who terrifies me as much as that woman does.”

In new school roller derby, coming against Athena is just as mentally debilitating for a jammer, but now it’s not because she’s going one on one with her. Now, it’s because Athena knows how to work with a wall, how to stop on a dime and how to use her shoulders sparingly, but with the force of a jack hammer. When she jams (because yes, now and again she does that), she steam rolls through the pack. She doesn’t need to use fancy feet because she is strong enough to push beyond the strength of other blockers.

Clam JammerPhilly Roller Derby

I met Clam when she was visiting my former league, Harrisburg Area, when she was with her former league, Pioneer Valley. All of us noted not only how agile she was on her skates, but how hilarious she was as a person. I was thrilled to see she had worked her way into the upper ranks of PRD.

Clam Jammer’s agility is unbelievable. She is undaunted by the high level of game play and her feet may not look lighting quick [at first] but she is able to complete maneuvers most of us can only barely comprehend. Despite her height, she is able to avoid getting sent backwards by big hits; her balance and control is standout. She made a huge impact on the crowd this year at the D1 playoffs in Richmond, and she was a big factor in helping her team earn silver and get a spot at Champs.

Thank you Tyler Shaw and Sean Murphy for the photos used in this article!

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