WATCH: Push-Up Brawlers Kicking Off Second Season With a Bang and A Few Bruises
By day, they are Cedar Falls teachers, investor specialists, stay-at-home moms and grocery store managers. By night, they are the Push-Up Brawlers, the Cedar Valley's own roller derby divas.
By day they are investor specialists, teachers, moms and grocery store managers. By night, the fierce ladies of the Cedar Valley Push-Up Brawlers are Cedar Falls’ representatives in the world of roller derby.
The team just kicked off their second season, with bouts – matches – planned throughout the summer at McElroy Stadium and around that state. (See their schedule and ticket information here.)
Roller derby, which had its original popularity in the 1970s, has seen a resurgence of popularity in recent years.
Jessica Pruitt, Roots Market manager, helped start the team with Morgan Combs, a full-time mom from Waverly.
“None of us had ever seen roller derby or played it. So a lot of the first summer was spent learning,” Combs said.
Combs said she was pleased with the level of interest the team has gotten, with a full roster returning from last year and plenty of new recruits this year.
For those not familiar with the sport, it features women on roller skates racing around a track. In derby tradition, there is usually a fair amount of knocking each other to the ground. Colorful costumes and tough names are also part of the picture, though Push-Up Brawlers members emphasized it’s not all about the fish nets.
“At the World Cup of Derby last year, all the girls used their real names, because they wanted to be taken seriously,” Pruitt said.
They should be taken seriously. Derby, played with helmets and mouth guards, is a full contact sport, and the players have the bruised to show for it.
However, the Push-Up Brawlers, as their team name implies, are still embracing the showy aspect of the sport.
“We’re a fairly new team. We have to do something to draw people, and that’s how it started in the first place,” Pruitt said.
She and the rest of the team have all taken Derby names. On the track, Pruitt is Bruise Hound. Combs is Morganized Chaos.
For more from the Push-Up Brawlers, watch the video. And then go see their next bout.