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Cornfed Roller Derby starts season

MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Cornfed Roller Derby rolled back onto the track for the first time this season on Saturday, February 19. Even with the season about to start, there is more to skating than meets the eye. 

It’s the key skill a skater needs in order to skate around the track successfully: balance. Veteran skater KarmaKazi, when first starting in 2015, didn’t have the balance to start.

“I didn’t have experience, and I hadn’t skated for years, and they taught me everything.”

But even with little experience, she made it to the All-Star team with time. KarmaKazi is not her actual name. Every skater and referee gets to choose an alias, a name that best describes them.

“I’m Shotgun Mike because I’m a sound person. Before I became a teacher, I was a sound recordist for film and television. And now I teach mostly audio production," Sonny Wingler said.

Wingler, also known as Shotgun Mike, is a senior lecturer at the Department of Media at Ball State University. He’s a teacher by day, and referee by weekend.

“My wife, then girlfriend, started skating for the Muncie team here, and my options [were] either start getting involved in derby or never see her again.”

Faith Jones-Smith, also known as Barbarian, is a new member of the Cornfed Roller Derby. She has balance both on the track and in the classroom. When two worlds collide, it gets better.

“I am nervous but so excited. I’ve played sports all my life, so that nervousness is just like it’s a nostalgic feeling,” Jones-Smith said.

With worlds colliding together, so are the fans: coming out and supporting the Cornfed Roller Derby.

“So our audience has just grown, and we have kind of, like I said, we’ve had to go from Gibson’s to here, and it’s been great.”

With the balance they had, the team was able to skate by their opponent with a win.