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Merritt McLaughlin

HELP WANTED: All Stars Head Coach and Missfits Head Coach (Volunteer)

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Hey you! Yeah, YOU! Do you love roller derby? Are you retired and looking to get back into the community? Are you involved with derby and have some extra time? Have you ever thought about coaching? Are you tired of being asked questions?

Well, you’re in luck! The Cornfed Derby Dames are actively seeking a Head Coach for the All Stars AND a head coach for our B team, the Muncie Missfits!

Applications will be accepted through Monday, September 9. See additional info below!

 

To connect to the All Stars Head Coach Listing, click here.

To connect to the Missfits Head Coach Listing, click here.

Featured Skater: ZiggyZig Ahh #911

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Ground Control to Major Tom, this week’s feature skater is the sassy, spooky and skilled Ziggyzig Ahh! Skating originally as Ziggy Starthrust, she swapped the name for a nod to her go-to karaoke song, “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls.

The spirit behind the David Bowie-themed moniker has not faded, however. You can easily spot Ziggy on the track by her signature and intricate makeup. Ziggy has sported a Bowie-esque lightning bolt, a full galaxy and other designs to accentuate her self-proclaimed “crazy eyes.”


This comes as no surprise, as Ziggy is a special effects make-up artist when she’s not on eight wheels and works at a company that makes Halloween masks and horror props. Ziggy says the act of putting together a bout day look is something that comes naturally to her and gets her in a good mindset to play.

“I love bout make up. I know some people think it takes away from making derby feel like a “real sport” but I like that I can add my weird personality into my game. The theatrics of derby are part of what drew me to it. And the act of putting it on is a nice grounding ritual for me.”

Ziggy also preps for game day with a face mask and her favorite Spotify playlist, Witchy Woman. It’s no secret game day can be a whopper on your mental state, so Ziggy makes sure she’s prepared. Oh yeah, and she eats a Whopper at halftime to help with that.

“Before I get to the venue I HAVE to stop at Burger King and get a whopper. I save the whopper for half time of the second game and I eat it as my way to rally and finish the game strong.”

Ziggy is our Interleague Coordinator and part of CFDD’s Practice Committee and trains the team to work together and keep improving. She does this with drills, footwork exercises, hexes, spells and potions. Probably the most magical part is the attitude Ziggy instills in her teammates and in herself.

“Derby has taught me that I am stronger, physically and mentally, than I ever thought I could be. It has taught me to be more confident and encouraged me to step up and become a leader. Derby has helped me curb a lot of my anxiety.”


Spice up your life and come see Ziggy take the track this Saturday, May 18 at the Muncie Fairgrounds.

Bring a Whopper to chow down on at halftime and see Ziggy’s witchy wonders in person. Find out more about the event by clicking here.

February Featured Skater: #815 Muffin Top

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She likes the color purple, macaroni and cheese, ruby red slippers and a bunch of trees. Our featured skater this month is #815 Muffin Top.

It was the summer of 2008 when Muffin Top’s dreams came true: Drew Barrymore was in her town shooting a little movie we in the roller derby world know quite well. Muff snuck around roped-off areas of the city, catching glimpses of the filming before it was the legend we know and love today: Whip It. After that, Muff knew she wanted to play derby- she just had to move to a city that had a team.

Muffin Top came to Cornfed after getting her start with the Dubuque Bomb Squad, a small, non-WFTDA member league from Dubuque, Iowa.  Before lacing up with Cornfed in Season 8, she skated with the Bomb Squad for their 2015-2016 season.

Now a Cornfed All-Star, Muff dons the star, the stripe or goes without a panty! On the track she is quick with solid hit-outs, shoulder punches, and killer offense. Off the track, she is the only Dame to have a listing on IMDb (watch out, Drew), superior Harry Potter knowledge, and extensive baking experience.

She may look sweet, but Muff is one of the toughest skaters repping blue and black. That’s how she got the name Tough Muff. Just kidding, no one calls her that. What we do call her is a friend and a sister. When asked what keeps her lacing up her skates, Muff said:

Muffin Top doin her thing at CFDD’s recent bout vs Kalamazoo. Photo courtesy of Shutterup Photography

“I keep coming back to derby for the siblinghood and the empowerment.  Before derby, I was too insecure to walk out of my bedroom in a tank top.  The positive body image I’ve gained is profoundly empowering, from feeling comfortable sleeveless to feeling comfortable in my own skin.  The camaraderie, membership, and support system is unparalleled.  I really love being part of a team.”

This Valentine’s Day, let Muff worm her way into your heart. Literally, she does an amazing worm and even does the splits on special occasions…or really even just on mediocre occasions to be honest.

But don’t take my word for it, come see for yourself this Saturday, February 9th at Cornfed’s Season Opener home game at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.  Connect to the event on Facebook or get tickets by clicking here. 

March is Officials Appreciation Month!

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“Black, 603, Forearm!”

“Black, 603, Direction!”

Team Zebra deep in a zebra conversation. Photo by Matt Ruddick

“Black, 603, Multiplayer!”

By now, I know most of the ref’s voices better than I know my own mother’s. But that’s ok! I know I can always count on Team Zebra to help my teammates and I play the safest game we can. Even though it’s sad when I have to skate off the track and spend some quality time with some of my favorite non-skating officials in the penalty box, I look forward to being able to ask questions and clean up my act for the next bout. Without our refs and NSOs, no one on Cornfed would be the skaters they are today.

Our Team Zebra regulars include Shotgun Mike, 5ft Assasin, Wes Slamderson, Carpe Jugulum, Nellie FlyBy, Bilbo Stabbins, Melody Mayhem and Richie Cranium. CFDD is also lucky enough to have other local refs make the trip to Muncie to call our bouts, which we always appreciate.

From left to right: Melody Mayhem, Wes Slamderson, Shotgun Mike and Carpe Jugulum Photo by Matt Ruddick

Roller derby can be a complicated, rough and challenging sport. Our rules are extensive and sometimes open to interpretation. The skaters in stripes help us play the sport we love by helping us to understand the rules and improve our game. Their time, money and dedication to roller derby is invaluable and something CFDD is so grateful for!

However, you don’t have to be on skates to part of the derby community. CFDD has several non-skating officials, or NSOs, that make sure bouts run smoothly. These folks are the backbone of derby, they do everything from timing penalties, timing jams, logging statistics, checking rosters and making sure everything is good to go for a successful bout or scrimmage. Our NSOs travel from all over to help out, and CFDD is lucky enough to have Bethly Hallows as our Head NSO as well as Tweety Bird, Fish n’ Whips, and Jean Koons’ smiling faces at every bout. A big shout out to Silken Tofu for years of amazing NSOing as well! NSOs are an integral part of roller derby and we value and appreciate every single one of them!

Our quality officials having quality time at Elm Street Brewing Co. From left to right: Tweety Bird, Shotgun Mike, Bethly Hallows, Melody Mayhem, Carpe Jugulum and Wes Slamderson. 

So, for Official’s month this March, make sure to hug your favorite ref or NSO – in a completely non biased way, of course!

 

Featured Skater: Boggs #4

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Although it’s her first season playing roller derby at the adult level, Boggs is no stranger to the best sport on eight wheels. After playing for 8 seasons with Indianapolis Junior Roller Derby, Boggs is ready to hit the track this season as a Cornfed All-Star.

When she’s not skating, Boggs is literally all of us- her hobbies include taking naps and eating pasta. Carb loading is totally a thing in derby, and it definitely pays off for Boggs. Solid hits, flawless makeup (she owns over 28 eyeshadow palettes), and fiery red hair flowing out from under her helmet are signatures of this strong AF pivot.

For Boggs, nothing is im-pasta-ble. In her first semester of college studying Zoology at Ball State University, she manages to balance school and derby. On the track, that multitasking serves her well. From offense to defense, pack definition and communication, Boggs has an advanced grasp on the game, and a real passion for it. But, she doesn’t play for the glory. When asked why she plays derby, she gives a goofy smile and responds “I gotta work off all that pasta!

Boggs using fancy footwork and strength to shut down a star pass. Photo by Matt Ruddick

Boggs laughs, adding that she loves skating with her group of sisters at CFDD and keeps coming back because of the people. She’s most excited to travel to Milwaukee in June, where the All-Stars will take on teams from all over the country at Midwest BrewHaha.

Do yourself a favor and come ask Boggs to show you her vast collection of sloth and baby monkey photos at our home opener on February 25th at Gibson’s Skating Arena (2610 S. Mock Ave.)

While you’re there, see the Cornfed All Stars take on the Naptown Roller Derby Warning Belles at CFDD’s Season 8 home opener! Doors open for the double header at 1 p.m. with a 2 p.m. start time for the All-Stars game, afterward, the Missfits will take on Naptown’s Third Alarm. Tickets at the door are $12 per person (cash or card) or $10 in advance through Brown Paper Tickets or from any Cornfed Derby Dame. Military, college students, EMT, firefighters, and police are just $8 with a valid ID and children ages 10 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket (limit two children).

Boggs as a happy lil jammer! Photo by Greg Dunn

Who knows what kind of awesome derby action will happen? A big hit out, an apex jump, the pasta-bilities are endless. See you there! 

Veterans Day

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This Saturday, November 11, CFDD wanted to take a moment to recognize the people that have served or are currently serving in the military. No matter the political climate, these brave individuals step up to do a job some of us could never imagine doing.

Here’s what a few of our Dames had to say about what Veterans Day means to them:

“All gave some, some gave all.”

 To me, every day is Veterans Day. I can’t put into words how thankful and grateful I am to every single person who was and will be brave enough to sign that line for our freedoms. I have many veterans in my life, from family to very close friends and my #1 Veteran is my dad! He is my hero for so many reasons, but one of those reasons is that he is a veteran of the U.S.Army. So much so, my derby name is for him. He and my momma have taught me how to love my country, and to love the people who fight for it.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, to each and every Veteran and their families, for sacrificing so much for me and my family. 

– U.S.Amee

 

 

Veterans Day is not just a day vets expect to get free meals at local restaurants or a “hi” from someone who has been or still is active service. Veterans Day is about honoring and acknowledging all who have lost their lives so we can live ours on a daily basis freely. Now a days there is a lot of hate in the world and we all need to just accept the fact that there are always differences among groups but respecting and caring for one another is what it’s all about.

My husband Christopher Spadaro was active duty for 7 years and now reserves here in Indiana. We are very thankful for what the army has given us and who we are today because of a career he chose early on in life. We would not be the people we are today without the sacrifices and places we have come across. Chris continues his military training into his new career as a correctional officer in Pendleton. The Army or any other branch of service can be an amazing opportunity for many people and always remember to thank a vet every chance you can! Not just vets day.

-Bonnie Collide

For me, Veterans Day means taking a moment to step back and appreciate everything one sacrifices when they join the military. The level of strength, dedication, and bravery it takes to serve this country isn’t something that should ever be overlooked. Watching my best friend bust her way through basic training and earn her spot in the Air Force really drove home just how hard these people work every single day to serve this country. 

– Janis Droplin

Featured Skater: Rogue Miss-ile

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, wait, it’s a Rogue Miss-ile! Rogue came to Cornfed in January of 2016, and has worked hard to hone in on her skills as a dynamic player. Comfortable with the star, the stripe and the captain’s C, Rogue is an incredible asset to the All-Stars and the Muncie Missfits. “The Missfits’ first bout this season against Derby City is by far my favorite moment, of the season, albeit a long moment. I was Captain which was a great experience. I got to play with a lot of Dames, many who had just started this season, in this first bout. We all did so well and even though we lost, we played a very hard team and didn’t let them run away with it. We held our own, it was like we were saying ‘we are here, we are strong, don’t underestimate us!’”

Underestimating Rogue on the track would be a big mistake, but off the track, Rogue is the one doing the estimating in class as a student in Ball State University’s accounting program. CFDD knows we can count on her. She also works at a doggie daycare, controlling a whole different kind of pack. Rogue stays busy, but she always has time for sports that involve things going around a track. “When I’m not working, studying, or playing derby (which is rare), I’m hanging out with my own dogs, probably drinking a beer and watching NASCAR with my husband.”

Rogue knew she was going to be in derby for the long haul when she finally bought her very first pair of roller skates. “Buying my own skates is probably my favorite memory. It was that moment that I knew I committing to doing derby, skates aren’t cheap! They were mine, and I will never forget how excited I was. A little over year later, after a few upgrades,
I still love my skates.”

Roller derby has been life changing for Rogue and has enabled her to meet her CFDD family. Even though she says it was terrifying at first, Rogue has embraced her strength and developed her skills – and she’s not stopping anytime soon. “I love how challenging derby is, both physically and mentally. We all push ourselves so hard every practice and every bout, and I love how much we support and challenge each other to keep going. It keeps my body and mind strong.”

On bout day, Rogue has the unique experience of playing for both the Missfits and the All-Stars.  She is a beast powering through not one, but two bouts.  She gets through it with determination, and a little help from her teammates. “When I play with The Missfits I love hearing the All-Stars cheering for us, it’s empowering.”

 But what is her favorite part of a bout? “The crowd! It is so fun to get to have fans that care about us.” See Rogue Miss-ile in action on Sunday, April 2nd  at Gibson Skating Arena – 2610 S. Mock Ave. The CFDD All-Stars will take on Gem City Roller Derby (Dayton, OH) and the Muncie Missfits will play A-Town Roller Derby (Anderson, IN). Rogue will be taking on both!

Doors open for the double header at 1 p.m. with a 2 p.m. start time for the All-Stars game, the Missfits will play second at approximately 4 p.m. Tickets at the door are $12 per person (cash or card) or $10 in advance through Brown Paper Tickets or from any Cornfed Derby Dame. College students are just $8 with a valid ID and children ages 10 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket (limit two children). Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are available at the concession stand. A portion of all bout proceeds this season will benefit Muncie OUTreach.

Join us for the official after party at Twin Archer Brewpub! You do not want to miss(ile) this!

Featured Coach- Danny Mac

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Photo by: Joe Mac

I first heard of Dan McGowan, aka Danny Mac, at Cornfed’s home bout vs. The Naptown Warning Belles back in July 2016. Danny came to Muncie to announce the bout and I distinctly remember how excited and passionate he sounded when announcing the game. He knew how to describe what was happening on the track in a way that was audience-friendly, and he had a genuine love for the sport in his voice.

Now, seven months later, he is the new head coach of the Cornfed Derby Dames. That same enthusiasm, passion, and love for roller derby has resonated with every Dame and has been instrumental in this new role.

Cornfed is super lucky and thrilled to be getting to know Danny Mac better, and we want you to as well! Read below about Danny’s transition from announcer to coach, his passions, and, of course, his resistance to calling helmet cover “panties.”

Where did you grow up? Cincinnati, Ohio

Who inspires you? My mom and dad, my smokin’ hot wife Lisa, and the CFDD players, coaching staff (shout out to Tommy Gunz, Emily, U.S. Amee and Breckin U Down) and Practice Committee (shout out to Breckin, fOWL Play, Frida Brawlo and J.J. Baberams).

What is your day job? I am the senior writer/reporter for Inside INdiana Business, a multimedia news outlet focusing on statewide business stories.

What drew you to roller derby? The intensity, comradery, and the idea that players pay to play and the organizations are run by dedicated volunteers.

How did you become a member of the derby community? I fell in love at first sight while attending the first Naptown Roller Derby bout in Indianapolis in 2007. My co-worker (Peyton Slamming of NRD fame) and I launched an audio podcast for the team soon after. It morphed into a live audio stream, then a one-camera video stream, and is now a full-blown multi-camera production.

How long have you been announcing? What do you like about it? I’ve been announcing roller derby since 2007, but I’ve announced many other sports at various levels since 2001. The best part is being able to enthusiastically tell the story of the sport to people throughout the world.

Danny, far left, standing with team at the start of Season 7

What has it been like transitioning from primarily announcing to coaching? I have always been in awe of the skills and magic displayed by players, but to take a more active role in how that transpires has ramped up my level of respect. These team members work their rear ends off day-to-day and I am just trying to do my best to stay anywhere near their level. Coaching has been one of the most challenging roles I’ve ever taken in my life, but it’s been terrific because of how much I love this organization. 

What is the most rewarding part of coaching? Getting a first-hand view of passionate, hard-working players as they accomplish things they had no idea they could. My jaw drops on an almost daily basis observing the dedication of Cornfed skaters.

What do you do when you’re not at practice? I work a lot (I actually love my job) and have a great group of family, friends and friendfamily with which to watch crappy movies, play board games (*snorts, pushes up glasses*), and search out great Indiana beers.

What are you passionate about? I am passionate about being passionate. It sucks when people are negative or not that into things, so if I’m involved with an activity of any kind, I invest all that I can into it.

What advice do you have for someone wanting to become a skater, NSO, ref, volunteer, or coach? Show up and do the things that need to be done, but others aren’t doing/won’t do. There’s always a spot for those that work hard and display joy. 

And finally…

Where did your hatred of the word “panties” come from? Hatred is a strong word and, I think, a mischaracterization. I would say “immaturity” or “insecurity” with the word would be more accurate. My default maturity level is that of an 11-year-old, so I actively avoid the word (very commonly used to talk about helmet covers in roller derby) so as to not giggle like a fool. Go ahead… say the word out loud without laughing. I bet you can’t do it!

Come see Danny coach his first bout on February 26, at Gibson’s Skating Arena-2610 S. Mock Ave. The CFDD All-Stars will take on the Derby City Rollergirls All-Stars (Louisville) and the Muncie Missfits will be playing the Derby City Rollergirls’ Bourbon Brawlers.

Doors open for the double header at 1 p.m. with a 2 p.m. start time for the All-Stars game. Tickets at the door are $12 per person (cash or card) or $10 in advance through Brown Paper Tickets or from any Cornfed Derby Dame. College students are just $8 with a valid ID and children ages 10 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket (limit two children).

Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are available at the concession stand. A portion of all bout proceeds this season will benefit Muncie OUTreach. Hope to see you there!

Featured Skater: U.S.Amee

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cfdd-26Happy holiday weekend, derbygoers! I’m sure a lot of you will be watching some great fireworks on the fourth, but this week’s featured skater is packing some much more impressive explosions! The passionately patriotic U.S.Amee is captain of Cornfed’s A team and acts as a mentor to many of our skaters. This star spangled skater may look sweet, but her signature move has sent many a skater clear across the arena. As many of us know, sending skaters sprawling from sea to shining sea isn’t a trick that just happens overnight. Amee is a self proclaimed rink rat, and practically grew up at Gibson’s Skating Arena. Being an experienced skater isn’t the only thing that has made Amee thrive. “I have done so many things out of my comfort zone–physically and mentally.” A huge part of her success is that she’s not afraid to jump wheels first out of that comfort zone. “I have always been quiet and shy and at first it was very hard for me to come out of that. I forced myself into taking leadership positions for CFDD to not only help the league, but to help myself grow as an individual.” She practices hard and plans drills that challenge and foster each skater’s individual ability. “Leading practices is so hard for me! The thought of talking in front of so many awesome skaters is so overwhelming! But with the support of each and every one of them, I get through it.” Amee is constantly trying new things, sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing and trying again-but she’s always laughing and pushing herself to the limit. 10608764_829036917136267_6450593113574618873_o

With her hard hits, fancy footwork, and booty blocks, it’s easy to see why derby loves Amee. But what does Amee love most about derby? “What I love most about derby is a hard one! So many great things about this sport! From getting in shape, being on my skates (that I like more than shoes), to the fact that this sport accepts any and every one! It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, or how you chose to live your life! There is always a place for everyone! But…ultimately, what I love most about derby is all of the friends I have met along the way that I now consider family! I don’t know what I would do without them!”

 When she’s not speeding around the track, Amee is speeding around after two well known pranksters. “When I’m not on skates, I am a momma of two rotten boys! They are my world! We spend a lot of time at the ball field watching them become awesome athletes!” Between baseball games and her husband’s football games, Amee isn’t unfamiliar with the risk of injury in sports. One of the most frequent questions derby girls get asked by friends and family is usually along the lines of “Aren’t you afraid you’re going to get hurt?” or “Yeah, throw some elbows! Break some teeth!” Obviously the actions in the second question are mostly prevented by rules, but accidents in derby do happen and injuries can be super scary. Roller derby is such a fun, crazy, amazing sport, and Amee isn’t intimidated by the risk. “To feel what I feel on the track, with so many awesome people, absolutely outweighs the thought of getting hurt by a million! I may get into my older years, not being able to walk because of my “roller derby knees” but man, the stories I will be able to tell!!!” Amee

Come be a part of those stories and see Amee make people red, white and bruised on Saturday June 9th as the Cornfed All Stars take on Naptown’s Warning Belles in the last bout of Season 6. Amee has also been a huge part of encouraging and teaching Cornfed’s B team, the Missfits, who will play Naptown’s Third Alarm. “My favorite moments this season have been watching our B team’s first season unfold and watching each of those B.A girls kill it and grow!! Makes my momma heart just melt!!” Get your heart melted too! Come down to Gibson’s and help U.S.Amee Make America Skate Again! Doors open for the double header at 5 p.m. with a 6 p.m. start time for the All-Stars game. Tickets at the door are $10 per person or $8 in advance through Brown Paper Tickets or from any Cornfed Derby Dame. College students are just $5 with an ID and children ages 10 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket (limit two children). Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are available at the concession stand. An after party will follow the game at Big Shots Pub, 700 S. Nichols St. A portion of all bout proceeds this season will benefit ForGirls ByGirls.

Featured Skater: Melody Mayhem

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cfdd-20We’ve all felt it: that tingly, butterflies in the stomach, giddy, hair-raising feeling that only comes from your first time watching derby. Deciding whether or not to strap on skates and give the ol’ track a whirl is an exhilarating decision, and sometimes takes way too long to make! This was the case for accomplished jammer, Melody Mayhem. “Fellow teammate Aria Kiddinme convinced me to try it out during a conversation we had at a going away party for a mutual friend. My interest for derby was already there after seeing a bout several years before this conversation, but I never acted on my interest.  By the end of the night Aria convinced me to join and two weeks later I was on skates.”

And we are so glad she did! Melody is a battering-ram of a jammer, super skilled, and a great teacher! In fact, she teaches on and off the track. “I teach elementary music (grades K-5) at Delaware Community Schools. I also can be found knitting or crocheting something.” Don’t let that fool you though, collide with Melody Mayhem, and you might have some stitches of your own!

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(A war cry captured by Matt Ruddick at K-Town Shakedown)

Melody is an all-star jammer and recently jammed not one, not two, but three games in one weekend at the K-town Shakedown Tournament. (Which you can read more about here!) One of her favorite memories in her derby career, she described it simply as: “3 days. 3 bouts. It was challenging, but a fantastic experience.” So how does an active jammer like Melody keep her focus? “At practice I think about what I need to work on to make myself and the team better. On bout day I think calming thoughts and try to focus on the bout to come. How can I get through the opposing team’s defense? How can I be the most effective in my attack?

She certainly does attack, and she is fierce! Buuuuuuuut she’s a softie, too. “I love that derby gives me a competitive outlet in my life. I also love that derby has given me a second family. (*Insert cheesy-heartfelt music and audience “aw” here.)

To see Melody in action, head down to Gibson’s Skating Arena (2610 S Mock Ave, Muncie) on June 12 at 1pm! This is a derby packed double-header Sunday, so get more bang for your buck and see Cornfed take on two awesome teams! The Cornfed all-stars will face the Gem City Rollergirls, and the Cornfed Muncie Missfits will play A-Town Roller Derby.  Tickets at door are only ten bucks, five for college students with an ID!