Poison Apples Roller Derby invites new members


Hanna Pennington

Team photo of the Poison Apples Roller Derby of Huntington. The Poison Apples use the sport as a way to let off steam by using their aggression toward something positive.

The Poison Apples Roller Derby of Huntington is looking for new members to join its fast and furious team of skaters. The team meets twice a week for practice and also travels for bouts, or games, several times every year.

The coach of the Poison Apples, Levi Hogan, said the sport is a combination of strategy and fitness but is also extremely rewarding.

“Derby is a huge chess game,” Hogan said. “Adding to that, it is super physical, but derby is just fun in general.”

Members of the Poison Apples said they use roller derby as a way to let off steam and use their aggression toward something positive.

“We get together and we hit people,” said Carrie Castillo, a member of the Poison Apples whose derby name is ‘Veruc-Assault.’ “It’s the cheapest therapy I’ve ever found.”

Castillo said that while being a wife and a mom is great, she needs something that is just for her, and that’s just what roller derby is.

Katie Norman, a team member and Marshall University senior, said she likes using roller derby as a physical outlet, as well as a place for her to truly be herself.

“I’ve become so close with everybody; it’s like this great community,” Norman said. “It’s not just the people here, but the people that we play every year and know.”

The Poison Apples are also involved in community outreach. Amelia Beatty, a four-year member who goes by ‘Daisy Disaster,’ said the team does everything from reading to elementary school children to working concessions at Marshall games.

“We have done stuff with the city mission, Lily’s Place, and we’ve done backpacks for kids,” Castillo said.

The team also donated to the areas in West Virginia devastated by flooding in 2016.

For those questioning if roller derby is for them, the team said the sport is for anyone and everyone.

“It’s not nearly as scary as it looks,” Beatty said. “It’s a lot of fun and it’s a great exercise…We teach you everything you need to know.”

Castillo said everyone should try roller derby at least once.

“It’s something that usually finds people in transition, and I think it really helps them through it,” Castillo said.

Hogan said the most rewarding part of roller derby is gaining confidence and self-pride.

“Getting someone to show up is hard, but once they do, they fall in love with it,” Hogan said.

The Poison Apples’ informational meeting is Jan. 25 from 7-9 p.m. at Roll-A-Rama.

Practices are Tuesdays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 7-9 p.m. These practices are open to anyone interested and no experience is required.

Hanna Pennington can be contacted at [email protected]