Kelley Young has been involved with the sport of roller derby for seven years. Ms. Young and her team- the Kansas City Roller Warriors- won the “Texas Shootout” 2007 WFTDA National Championship against Seattle’s Rat City Rollers in what many derby enthusiasts consider one of the greatest bouts ever played in the history of the league. In 2008, she showed the derby world her elite jammer status by matching a tournament record (25 points in a single jam), that had just been set by Duke City’s Kamikaze Kim that same year. Snot Rocket took a year off in 2009, but returned to roller derby in 2010. She decided to skate under her ‘government issued’ name of Kelley Young, which caused some amount of talk amongst announcers and bloggers alike. She was interviewed late 2010 by fivepointgrandslam.com about the change. Kelley explained- “I decided to shed the name after I came back to skating following a year hiatus, which I thought at the time was a permanent retirement. Snot Rocket as a derby personality had generated so much hype, and I didn’t want to feel the pressure of coming back into that after a year off, having to live up to the same expectations that were hovering over me at the time that I retired.” She went on to say-
“I wanted a clean slate. I just wanted to come back and skate with my girls, with my team, without all the hype and personal attention. I’m just me, Kelley, on and off the track. Snot Rocket was old news.”
That year, she helped her team to advance up to the semi-finals in the ‘Uproar on the Lakeshore’ Championships.
Currently topping the rankings board in the South Central region, Kelley and the Kansas City Roller Warriors are fully poised and prepared to reclaim their number one ranking for the 2011 season.
She graciously took a few moments out of her crazy schedule to answer a few questions I had of my own.
Nomnom: What positions do you play?
Kelley: I play jammer almost exclusively.
N: How long have you been playing roller derby?
K: I’ve been playing since 2004, with a year off in the middle.
N: Day job (aka- what do you do to get the insurance coverage to skate)?
K: I teach Spanish at a local university.
N: What are some of your best/favorite moments in roller derby?
K: One of my favorite moments include the year we got a hockey coach to coach us, in 2007 when we improved a lot. It was very gratifying to be coached by someone with skating experience, when it seemed that many other leagues were still being coached by friends or random people involved personally, as we had been in the past.
N: Do you have a trademarked or talked about ‘Snot Rocket’ move? If so, what is it?
K: I guess my “talked about move” would be juking. But so many top level jammers are good jukers…
N: How did you get involved with roller derby?
K: Heard about it at a local rock show on Halloween…some girls were rolling around passing out flyers, ha.
N: Karaoke or After Bout Viewing?
K: Uh, both. I’m probably seen as being just business Kelley, but I can definitely have some fun…although I usually let loose with my closest friends.
N: Do you have an athletic background?
K: Mmmm, somewhat. I grew up skating for fun, and I was always good at that, but that’s really been the only physical activity/sport that I’ve been really good at. I played sports growing up, but for example in freshman year tennis and basketball, I was literally the worst on the team. I’m not just being modest – Hallie (she’s probably not reading – but if she is, hey girl!) and I were the worst on the team.
N: What’s your record for most scoring points in a bout?
K: I don’t remember…I don’t keep track of that stuff. If I did score a record, it was probably broken like the next week.
N: How did it feel when you found out you made a WFTDA record?
K: Well, if I’m remembering correctly, I only tied the record that Kamikaze Kim had already broken. Because of the particular situation that year, it felt like somewhat of a vindication for my team, since Duke City had beat us out of our spot to Nationals earlier in the tournament in a game that I wasn’t able to play in.
N: Any plans to attend Rollercon this year? Have you in the past?
K: I attended Rollercon the first year it existed, and it was a lot of fun! I would like to go more, but my schedule hasn’t permitted me to.
N: If Lucy skates 3 mph and Jan skates 7 mph, when will Jan catch up with Lucy if she gives Lucy a head start of 2 minutes?
K: I was pretty good at algebra and word problems in middle school. I remember this one my teacher had me do this equation that took up the whole chalk board … one of my proudest 8th grade moments.