May’s All-Star of the Month: Honey Badger Von Sparkles!

Name: Honey Badger Von Sparkles
Number: 106

What’s the story behind your name and number?
My name is the outcome of an afterparty.  My friends pieced together my name for me and it just stuck.  I’ve really come into my name, and I think that reflects into my style of play.

What positions do you play?
Interesting question!  I do everything:  Jam, block, pivot, and occasionally I even referee and bench coach.

What is your favorite thing about derby?
I love the constant evolution of this sport.  Everyone involved has something to bring on and off the track, so it gives everyone an equal advantage.  You also have to constantly train because this sport has no ceiling to what you can learn from it.  Basically, I love that there is always a new goal to achieve.

What first attracted you to the sport?
At the first bout I ever went to, I was attracted to the finesse and the fearlessness of these women who were doing something revolutionary and I wanted to be a part of it.  I was a cheerleader in high school.  Other sports never appealed to me because they seemed boring. I’ve always longed for the camaraderie, though.  With derby you get the best of all of those things.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned from playing?

Persistence.  You can achieve anything with it. Most of the derby girls that I know didn’t know how to skate when they started.  They stuck with it and are the best players on the track. I think our persistence in derby overflows into our everyday lives and we become overachievers for it.  This sport just keeps on giving!

What are your goals as a player?
Oh man, I could go on about this forever.  My main focus though, is always to be a better team player on and off the track.  I pride myself at being a great all-round player.  I believe the best players are universal.  If you primarily block, get in there and jam as often as you can.  It will improve your footwork and help you think like a jammer.

What is your most memorable moment on the track?
This is too difficult!  I can’t narrow it down out of three, so here they are:  Winning the 2012 Southern Belle Ringer with Acadiana Roller Girls, having Mercy from Rose City block me on the track while I was jamming and Demanda Riot swooped in and gave me the best whip I’ve ever taken in my life to get me lead jammer, and last but CERTAINLY not least, taking home my first “W” with Red Stick Roller Derby back in April against Magnolia Roller Vixens.  It had been a long time since RSRD claimed a win, and not that winning is everything, but it was satisfying to know that all of our hard work and our team as a whole is coming together and paying off!

What type of gear do you prefer?
I think I have been through more gear than anyone else!  But I’m currently wearing (and in love with):  Atom wrist guards, Destroyer P-Series elbow pads, Smith Scab’s knee pads, Triple-8 helmet, and brand spankin’ new Luigino Vertigo Q-6 skates.

Do you have a favorite song to skate to or a theme song?
“I Saw Red” – Sublime & Gwen Stefani

What is your favorite sign or cheer you’ve seen or heard from the crowd?
That would be from the beloved Westboro Baptist Roller Derby group, “Jesus Hates Track Cuts!”.

Honey Badger (on far left) doesn't care which position, she'll play any of them, including pivot

If you could arm wrestle any person in the league, who would you arm wrestle and why?
I’ve already arm wrestled Reftor, but I demand a rematch!

Is there a teammate with whom you work the best?
I love being on the track with Glock.  I feel like we not only kick butt as a duo, but we have fun and look good while doing it!

What sports did you play before you laced up the quads and took to the flat track?
Like I said earlier, I was a cheerleader in high school. I am an amateur bowler, flip cup champion, and professional procrastinator!

What do you do when you’re not skating?
What do you mean “not skating”?  Seriously though, I’m either studying derby, reading derby articles, or looking at cute cat and dog pictures online.  I also lease apartments to pay for my habits.

Do you have any advice to anyone thinking about taking up derby?
Do it. It will change your life forever and make you a better person than you could have ever imagined yourself being.

When did you join Red Stick Roller Derby?
I joined in January of this year.  I transferred from Acadiana Roller Girls in Lafayette, LA. I’ve been playing roller derby for about 3.5 years.

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