Local roller derby team endures the shutdown

(Fremont County, WY) – Fremont County’s first and only women’s flat-track roller derby team, the Cherry Bombs, have been working hard to navigate the pandemic that halted the sport everywhere.

Fortunately, they have been able to sustain in these times when there has been a big loss of other small leagues like them, according the Cherry Bombs’ Coach Lloyd Bynon.

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“I know there are leagues in Wyoming that are not coming back. Some had been on the verge of not making it anyway, and COVID was the killer.”

This year marks the team’s 5th anniversary and their second year in a row without competition.

“I literally feel like I’m missing something in my life,” Cherry Bomb Steph Bales shared with County 10. “It’s derby; that is what I’m missing.”

In the warmer months, they met outside to skate and now skate socially distanced inside wherever they can find a space. Practices are impossible since it’s a close contact sport, so they continue with the basics – just skating.

A few Cherry Bombs shared, just doing the basics and with no bouts to look forward to makes it hard to stay motivated.

“It’s like therapy,” team member Christina Rorabaugh explained.

Cherry Bomb Kammi McClendon also chimed in noting, “you need that activity. Not only to stay healthy, but you need it mentally.”

Making this time even harder, several things were put on hold like the junior league they were just starting up last year as well as continued fundraising efforts for a place of their own large enough to hold bouts.

In the last few weeks, they started to host a free skate nights at the Pavillion Rec Center. Everyone is invited to just come skate and get active. Their next one is Friday, February 19th from 6-8 pm. Updates on these nights can be found on their Facebook page.

Coach Bynon left us with this final message, “we are still here, still fighting and trying to keep moving.”

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