BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — If you head over to Skateland during Bakersfield’s hot summer days, it’s more than just parties heating up on the roller skating rink.
These days, the Diamond City Minors are those feeling the heat of Bakersfield and of competition as this junior roller derby team is putting their sport and their city on the map.
“Definitely something that i like to brag about, like, oh yeah we come from Bakersfield and [people] are like where’s that? Nobody really knows about Bakersfield so to say we’re a homegrown team, it’s really cool," DCM skater Chloe Lamb said.
Having won back-to-back titles on a national stage.
“Because of the fact that roller derby is not known by a lot of people, it was cool going to school like, 'I'm a two-time national championship'," DCM skater Bryce Swall said.
The sport of roller derby takes a lot skills, including a high competitive spirit that many of their skaters represent.
"It’s a mental game, it’s really tough, it’s a lot of team work, and a lot of training," Lamb said.
"But this sport is a different competitiveness. Because you’re on eight wheels, not every athlete is on eight wheels," Swall said.
With the premise of the game for offensive skaters, known as jammers, to score points by lapping other members. But it's really about the defense.
“If we can hold their jammer back the entire two minutes while our jammer is scoring points, we’ve got the game in our hands," Swall said.
With the same notion of sports applying to roller derby.
“Defense wins championships, 100%," Swall said with a laugh.
And, this team is looking for a third straight championship with competition coming up at the end of the month.
“There’s nothing i want more than to win again," Lamb said.
For those who are still a little unsure, these athletes have a response.
“I would tell them just to try it, try it at least once," Swall said.
DCM competes in Loveland, Colorado for the national championships July 26-28.