Sports

Texas Rollergirls

Flat-track skates into the Convention Center

Shank
Shank (Photo by Nadia Caffesse)

Who says Roller Derby isn't a mass spectator sport? Last month, the Minnesota Rollergirls pulled in 8,911 fans for their bout against Wisconsin's Dairyland Dolls. Now it's the Texas Rollergirls' turn for the big crowds as they make the long roll to the bright lights of Downtown. The originators of the modern flat-track revolution bid a fond and emotional farewell to their longtime home at Playland Skate Center and start 2011 on the bigger stage of the Austin Convention Center. It's a high-stakes year on the track: Reigning champs the Hotrod Honeys established a legacy last season with their third successive TXRG title, but now there's a target on their back. The Hustlers took them down to the wire in the championship bout, and with the revamped Hell Marys and the Honky Tonk Heartbreakers coming out of an injury-plagued season, it's anybody's year. Hotrods captain Shank explained, "We're so even on talent now throughout the teams that every single game is going to be challenging." Don't take that as an admission of defeat. "We want the title, and we want it bad." Texas Rollergirls season opener round-robin: Sun., Feb. 20, 5pm (doors at 4:30pm). Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez. $12-15, kids under 12 free. www.texasrollergirls.org.

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