KWWL news team suits-up with The Cedar Valley Derby Divas - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

KWWL news team suits-up with The Cedar Valley Derby Divas


Wheels, helmets and fishnets?

We've got to be talking about one thing: Roller Derby! The Cedar Valley has its first league, The Cedar Valley Derby Divas, and the league has its first team: The Push-Up Brawlers.

April 30th The Brawlers present their home opener versus The Cedar Rapids Roller Girls: Bombshell Cartel.

Recently anchor Sunny Layne, reporter Nikki Newbrough, and KWWL noon producer Briana Denney suited up with the Push-Up Brawlers as "Fresh Meat Girls".

Amazingly, they lived to tell the tale.

Known for its fishnets as much as its clashes and falls, it's not for the faint of heart.

Layne, Newbrough and Denney decided to see just how tough The Cedar Valley Derby Divas were.

"I'm signing my life away here, folks. Isn't this great!?" Layne said as she signed a waiver.

"I'm most nervous about breaking my nose or getting a black eye, then having to explain it on the news the next day," Newbrough said.

"My strength today I think is hair and makeup," producer Denney said.

With no real roller skating experience to speak of, unless you count Layne's broken arm in 4th grade...

"I said a prayer on the way here," Layne admitted.

They suited up with the league's first team: The Push-Up Brawlers, at the McElroy Auditorium in Waterloo.

"It gets rough. There are several injuries," coach Tim "Flash" Combs said. "This cement is not easy to fall on."

"The real thing is going to be a wake up call, frankly," Layne said. "Do you double-tie these [laces]?"

Despite their jitters, the competitive spirit took over.

"I'm ready to take down these girls," Newbrough said as she traced a line across her neck, "Especially Sunny Layne."

"My predictions are, I will take Nikki Newbrough down! In the first 10 minutes!" Layne said. "Yea, [Newbrough] ran cross country in college, but I was in show choir. We have skills!"

And then they set their skates on the treacherous track.

They learned you can't get too confident, Layne almost ate it windmill-style.

"Tail bone injuries seem to plague the league," league founder "Morganized Chaos" a.k.a. Morgan Combs said. "You don't really learn until you do it once."

"I've been told to fall forward, so if I do, the pads can take care of the fall," Newbrough said.

"I did the windmill-thing and almost fell, but didn't! So maybe that's a good sign, I don't know," Layne said.

A whistle blew.

"Brawlers on the outside, Training Brawlers on the inside," Coach Combs said.

Yes, he did call beginners "training brawlers."

"He's tough!" Newbrough said.

"This is scary, we haven't even done anything and I'm shaking," Denney said.

Next: the roll call.

"During roll call we're supposed to be half way down so we feel the burn in the thighs," Newbrough said.

The Brawlers called out registered derby names like "Rock of Gibrawler" and "Danny De-Beato".

But the KWWL news team had their own names to flaunt.

"Sunny 'Get Out of My' Layne", "Bad News Brianna!", and "Nikki 'Not-So-Good' Newsbrough!".

And then the real work started.

They even practiced falling, the right way.

"You don't want your fingers rolled over," Coach Combs said.

Newbrough started feeling confident, and it brought out her scrappy side.

"These girls are wussies!" she said.

But we see what happens when you get too sassy for your skates.

She fell and ripped the assistant coach's shirt.

"Sorry! thanks for catching my fall!"

Next, they brawled with the big girls in the pack.

The object of roller derby is to get the lead member of your team through the other team's pack as well as your own, and then she can begin scoring.

After a few close-calls, they huddle with the team, and discover their best-kept secret: The Push-Up Brawlers are really, well, nice.

"While independent and somewhat free-spirited, we all get together and it's really like a sisterhood," "Morganized Chaos" said.

But make no mistake, the Push-Up Brawlers are no push-overs.

This team is made of 30 women from all different ages, careers, many are mothers.

Several have never skated before.

You can see The Push-Up Brawlers face The Cedar Rapids Bombshell-Cartel at Seven in the evening April 30 at McElroy Auditorium in Waterloo.

Click here for a list of places you can buy tickets.

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