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Best Roller Derby Players of All Time

Posted by Carly Quick

This page is woefully outdated. We will be accepting nominations on social media through March 15th, 2018 for an updated list of the best players of all time.

Check out some of the awesome skaters who have made our list in the past and let us know if they still make the cut!

Nicole Williams (AKA Bonnie Thunders) is one of Roller Derby's most famous jammers. She is quite possibly the Barry Bonds of Roller Derby. Though not overpowering with her size, her execution and mental game make her unstoppable. She is from Rome, New York and was a top skater on New York College's synchronized skating team: The Syracuse Orange Experience. She kept busy in college with the skate team, ice skating, and competitive soccer. In 2006 she made the Bronx Gridlock team with Gotham Girls Roller Derby. Nicole was graced with the derby name Bonnie Thunders, and was awarded Rookie of the Year for the league. After winning the 2008 WFTDA Championships, she was named the league MVP. Her success steadily increased, landing her the Captain's role of the Gotham Girls All-Stars in 2009. She retired from the Bronx Gridlock team in 2012 to focus on her role with the All-Stars. Most recently in 2011 she was chosen to be part of Team USA for the Roller Derby World Cup in Ontario, Canada. Bonnie Thunder is an avid and accomplished skater, and took time to start a roller skate business on the side. She is the founder of Five Stride Skate Shop in Brooklyn. We love watching Bonnie because of her team attitude, awesome skills and bar none drive!

Julie Glass (AKA Mota Matrix and formerly Atomatrix) is a serious jammer that put up her speed skating career for a shot at Roller Derby. While she admits the transition was a challenge, it proved to be a smart move for the Michigan Native, and she is now one of the most popular skaters in the world. Julie Glass, along with her husband Doug, is the owner of Mota Skates, a company that produces some of the hottest roller derby skates, inline wheels, and quad skate wheels. Glass has a unique perspective as a competitive skater herself and fills the demand for current skaters and their needs. Her background in skating is extensive and includes two inline speed skating gold metals at the US Olympic Festival in 1995. She also dabbled in ice speed skating in 2002, but decided she didn't have the motivation to train like she needed to. She has taken several breaks in her career to get married, have twin girls, and focus on her business ventures. In 2008 she took up roller derby, joined The Oly Rollers league and was an essential component. The Championship win for Oly in 2009 was much attributed to efforts by Glass. Mota Matrix was a member of Team USA at the 2011 Roller Derby World Cup in Canada. She moved to Arizona and briefly played for Tent City Terrors, before returning to remotely play for the Oly Rollers. This caused a bit of a stir, as she was living in Arizona but playing for a team in Washington. Regardless, Mota Matrix is a notable skater in current roller derby. She prides herself on her determination, training and heads up game tactics. We love watching her because she is fierce, classy and fights till the finish!

Jean Schwarzwalder (AKA Suzy Hotrod) is from Lindenwold, New Jersey and is one of the best jammers in the league. She is easily recognized with her tattoos, signature war paint and bright red lipstick. She is unique because she is relatively new to skating compared to most of her teammates. Her background is in photography and music and she played in Lady Unluck, a punk bad. After she left college in 2004, she started training to be a roller derby skater. While it seemed like a longshot because she hadn't exercised in four years, she was chosen to train with the Gotham Girls Roller Derby and kept her band name, 'Suzy Hotrod'. She gained her Captain's title in 2007 on team "Queens of Pain". She was awarded MVP in 2006 and 2009, won 3 league titles, and named Best Double Threat in 2010 and 2011. She was the co-captain of Team USA for the Roller Derby World Cup in 2011---clearly this girl rocks! Suzy Hotrod has been around for 9 seasons, and we can't wait to see what else this rocker has in store.

Do you think you or a teammate should be listed here? Shoot us an e-mail and we'll consider adding your or your teammate to our list of the best Derby players of all time!

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