Roller derby makes a splash in Mid-Michigan

Mid-Michigan's Derby Girls prepare for practice

Mount Morris native Rhonda Hawley has considered Skateland Arena to be her home almost all her life.

Around the arena and to her teammates, sheâ??s known as â??Betty Krack-Herâ??.

"I'm 40 years old so it's a little rough for me,â?? Hawley said. â??It's about a week's recovery after each game."

Sheâ??s the leader of the Mid-Michigan Derby Girls, a local roller derby team thatâ??s opening its fifth season.

The thrill has been so great that it has not only attracted Hawley, a truck driver, but Jammie Lee Hutton-Caudill, a hair dresser from Davison.

"I learned the game as we went on and found my inner-aggression, that 'Valletta Vendetta' in me," Hutton-Caudill said with a laugh.

It also brings out Karen Gorny, an electrician who drives 90-miles north from the Detroit area for practice.

"I've loved it from day one,â?? Gorny said. â??Everybody at work gets sick of me talking about it but I just still talk about it."

Hawley assures that roller derby isnâ??t for women that are scared to take a hit or fall. But those women who arenâ??t just may find their calling with roller derby.

"We'll teach them how to skate first and once we teach them how to skate and think they're safe then it's time to put some derby action into it and teach them how to play derby," she said.

The Mid-Michigan Derby Girls begin their season on Saturday, February 25, 2012 at Skateland Arena. Women interested in joining or learning more can go to

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