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North Country Lumber Jills prepare for first home bout Oct. 29

The North Country Lumber Jills roller derby team will take on the Twin City Riots, a derby team out of Barre, Vt., Saturday, Oct. 29. The match-up will be the first home bout for the Lumber Jills.

The North Country Lumber Jills roller derby team will take on the Twin City Riots, a derby team out of Barre, Vt., Saturday, Oct. 29. The match-up will be the first home bout for the Lumber Jills.

— The North Country Lumber Jills are ready to rumble.

Erin McGill, president of Plattsburgh’s emerging roller derby team, said she and her more than 25 fellow members have been busily preparing in recent weeks for their first home bout against the Twin City Riots, a derby team out of Barre, Vt.

“I think the general consensus of the team is everyone’s super excited,” said McGill.

The Lumber Jills have been working since March 2010 to establish the sport of roller derby in the North Country, hosting scrimmages and participating in away bouts for more than a year. Their excitement for the sport and their progression as a team is something she’s very proud of, said McGill.

“The progress of our team has been amazing,” said McGill. “We started practicing in an abandoned parking lot and now we’re over at the city gym. It just blows my mind.”

The sport is like many others, said McGill, centering on teamwork. For those who aren’t familiar with roller derby, McGill — a first-grade teacher at Bailey Avenue Elementary who goes by the derby name “Teachy McGill” — said the concept is easy to follow and the sport is easy to get into.

The sport involves two packs of four members from each team leading the bout around a track, explained McGill. The packs are followed by a “jammer” from each team who tries to break through the opposing team’s pack and, for each opposing member passed, a point is awarded.

“Being a jammer isn’t easy,” said McGill, who added the opposing team’s blockers are able to fend off jammers with hits from the shoulder to hip zone.

“The jammer’s get beat up, but it’s because they’re the ones who are getting all the points,” said McGill, laughing.

And, it’s all in good fun, said McGill. Though the sport can sound brutal, there’s a camaraderie built with other teams and, especially, within teams.

Keep reading The Burgh for more on the North Country Lumber Jills as they prepare for their first home bout.

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