by Motley Crouton
ILJR Coach & Member of Ithaca League of Women Rollers

Vicious Vinifera at ILJR Debut Bout - September 25, 2010 - photo by Kathryn Coldren

For the ILWR, it was a year of firsts: the Bluestockings enjoyed a stellar first season, the SufferJets tested themselves against their first WFTDA-level teams and the first Junior Roller Derby team in New York state, the Ithaca League of Junior Rollers, was launched, opening up the world of roller derby to girls ages 8-17.

With the end of the first successful ILJR session came another first; at the post-season party, Vicious Vinifera, who turns 18 in December, was honored as the first ever ILJR graduate!! Vicious plans to try out for a spot on one of the teams of the adult league for the 2011 Season. At the end of the year party for the Junior Rollers, Vicious was recognized and presented with a diploma as her junior teammates looked on, both impressed and probably slightly envious. After the ceremony, one of the youngest girls stated that she was going to do Junior Derby until she was old enough to join the adult league. Another young one piped up saying that she was already 18, although her plan was foiled by lack of ID.

Vicious Vinifera, an aspiring wine-maker whose name is derived from the scientific name for the wine grape, was pleasantly surprised by the ceremony but already has her eyes on the adult league. Having already attended a few freshmeat practices, she says that while it’s pretty similar to what she learned in the junior practices, the adult practices are a lot faster both in terms of speed and learning new skills. However, the part she’s really looking forward to, she says as she grins, is the hitting, as the Junior League only does leaning and positional blocking. So the rest of the adult league better watch out for Vicious Vinifera!