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Bayleigh Wheat #9, Slaughterers

What prompted you to get involved in roller derby?

Well, I began skating right before I turned 12 in 2009, after a few years and countless hours spent at the rink I was approached by some new girls that skated for what was then North Texas Roller Derby. I remember them asking me if I would be interested in playing derby. The thought of mixing a team sport with something I already enjoyed sounded absolutely fascinating to me. Unfortunately at the time they only had a women’s league, so I let them know if they ever started a juniors team I would be more than happy to attend practices. A few short months later, one of the Dallas men’s skaters invited my sister and I out to the first ever juniors practice which later became the Rolling Rebellion in late 2011.

Do you have a favorite derby memory?

This one is tough, because I have a ton. But I think my all time favorite will be Juniorcon and JRDA Nationals of 2014. It was a whole week of skating, starting with some classes from great skaters and coaches. The first Junior national tournament, and to top it off, the first Junior World Cup tryouts where I would later be chosen to play on Team USA East.

Playing any sport is a huge commitment. How do you juggle that along with your life outside of derby?

Very carefully. I plan plenty of time to rest and relax in between all the things I do because I believe that is the key. You can not let things in life overcome you, and you have to treat yourself. For me that sometimes looks like not doing a single thing. 

What's the most rewarding aspect of playing the game?

Constant change and need for development. There is always something to work skill- and game-wise. 

Is there anything you're scared to try?

Bowl skating. The ladies that get out there, doing all kinds of crazy kicks, jumps, and drop-ins on those ramps, they earn my respect because wowza. I wish I wasn’t afraid of falling on my head doing that.