Like most athletes, the Charm City Rollergirls couldn’t do what we do best without the support of our loved ones. For many of us, our biggest fans and truest supporters are the dads of Charm City. Whether they’re our own dads who coached us a kids and cheer us on as adults or our partners who happily take over the childcare duties on bout day, we’re grateful for the men who make our lives just a little more charming. We’ll be celebrating these dads at our June 14th bout in Laurel at the Gardens Ice House, and we hope you’ll bring your dad to join in the celebration.
Hittsuburgh and Sin Diesel are a full-on derby family, each supporting the other through practices, bouts, and league duties. Hitts credits her partner Sin with making it possible for her to play with the Charm City All-Stars in addition to her spot on the Night Terrors. “He has been a coach, a skater, and a devoted derby widow and has not only his own kids, but has gone above and beyond to help me with mine since I moved to CCRG.”
Sin even goes solo on parenting duties when Hitts travels for bouts. “I am thankful every time I step on the track … that I have someone that is so in love with my son and so willing to help me reach my goals. He has taught me that it is okay for mother’s to make time for themselves, and he allows me to do that on a regular basis.”
Sin’s derby history includes a role in founding the Men’s Derby Coalition (which later became the MRDA) and the Key City Roller Derby, plus coaching for multiple teams in the region. He currently skates for Harm City Havoc, where Hitts is his coach. It helps that both members of this team are derby players. They deal with life strategically, helping each other cope with challenges and distractions so they can both do their best on and off the track.
Papa Kill, proud dad of the Junkyard Dolls co-captain Federal Kill, is a familiar face at Charm bouts. “If you are ever looking for my dad in the stands, he will be the one who looks like Sam Elliot wearing a Harley Davidson t-shirt,” Fed says. It may have taken him a while to understand her attraction to derby, but Papa Kill has always supported his daughter’s love of sports including t-ball, softball, soccer, basketball, field hockey, dance and cheerleading. He loves to see her play, and he knows she’s an inspiration to her teammates. “After being cut from the high school soccer team during her first year she was determined to participate and tried out for the field hockey team. She excelled to a very admirable status throughout high school and lead her team to the playoffs I believe 3 out of 4 years.”
Fed says her dad worked hard to support the family when she was a little girl, which meant she didn’t always get to spend a lot of time with him, so they’ve always made the most of their time together. When she was younger, they went fishing together often, but now their favorite father-daughter activity is watching the Baltimore Ravens play. “We drink, we eat, and we shout expletives at the players. It’s very good father-daughter bonding,” Fed says.
Roger Huntington, father to Charm’s I.M. Pain, took her skating so much as a kid that she can hardly remember a time when she couldn’t skate. By age 6, Pain was signed up for her local speed skating team, and quickly fell in love with the sport.
Skating and competing were a big part of Pain’s life with her brother and their single father. It was a way they bonded as a family and shared life lessons. “Once I started to get older and more competitive, we started traveling all across the country. At some point, both my brother and my dad started competing too. My dad and I started cross training together on bikes, riding around our particularly hilly neighborhood. He always pushed me to work hard, train hard, and to never settle for second best. I carry that through into derby and everything, really. Never give up on what you really want, he instilled that in me.”
Mr. Huntington, nick named Rodger Dodger by Pain’s speed team, passed away due to liver cancer in May, and the entire Charm family grieves with one of our most beloved skaters. “Watching him fight this horrible disease has been absolutely heartbreaking. But I know he has been fighting, never giving up, and I strive to live like that every day.”
Raven Darkhold has played derby since 2006, but her dad hasn’t had a chance to see her play, yet. When she started playing, she was nervous about telling her dad, but to her happy surprise, he was very supportive. Now that he’s retired, Raven says she’s preparing DVDs of her bout footage to help inspire her dad and sister Melody to come up and watch her live. Raven is pictured above with her father Willie and sister Melody at Melody’s graduation.
Like many Charm skaters, Raven gives credit to her dad when it comes to her athletic ability because he taught her to skate at a young age. “I learned on the plastic Fisher Price skates and eventually moved onto real skates as I became more comfortable skating outside. When I got older, we went to the local skating rink virtually every Saturday. I remember my dad being out there skating with me with long strides. I eventually was able to skate faster than my dad. I remember being able to plow stop, which I learned on my own, and jumping over the smaller children who fell in front of me with no fear. That may explain why I love jumping so much now.”