The Walla Walla Sweets Rollergirls open their 2019 home season Saturday against the Crystal Jams of Portland at the Walla Walla YMCA.
This is a banner year for the league as it commemorates it 10th season of roller derby in Walla Walla.
The season began with two bouts on the road, starting in March in Coeur d’Alene and April in Pullman.
The Sweets hope to add a win for their so-far 0-2 season.
Saturday’s event launches a first for the league — a home season stretch that offers a bout once a month for five months.
The scheduling makes roller derby more accessible for fans of the sport seeking action. Previously, the Sweets swapped travel and home bouts every month.
Also new to the season this year will be a doubleheader in July that provides twice the action.
Joining the Sweets’ primary lineup of jammers from last season is Suzanne “Jams Bont” Hyde.
Given the additional jammer depth for the league, it won’t be a surprise to find some of the veteran jammers swapping into the pivot position more frequently.
Returning to the Sweets this season after an absence of a couple of years is blocker Nicole “TechNicole Difficulty” Lloyd.
Sweets captain is Eliza “Nerdy Bird” Van De Rostyne.
Walla Walla is preparing for a tough bout for its 2019 home track debut in the Crystal Jams.
“We have veteran skaters on our roster, so this is a high-level bout,” Sweets coach Kate “Moonshine” Moon said. “The competition is going to be fierce and we have our best skaters on the track.”
Meanwhile, a number of new skaters are expected to make their debuts later this season through the Sweets training program.
“We have a dynamic group of new skaters that are going to be powerful blockers and quick jammers,” Moon said. “This group has dedication and heart and are making great progress in their training.”
The Sweets Roller Girls are hosting a new skater orientation on Tuesday, to continue recruitment efforts to build the league. Those interested can attend at 6 p.m. at the Village Youth Center, 36 S.W. Eighth St., in College Place.
Doors open for Saturday’s bout at 5:30 p.m., with action at 6:30, at the YMCA, 340 S. Park St.
Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Kids 10 and younger get in free.
Tickets are available at Book & Game Co., the YMCA and at website brownpapertickets.com.