The MVP and top-voted All Star for Viriginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. is the tenacious Annie Knuckles of Chemical Valley! Out of 170 skaters who received votes, Annie was able to nudge Charm City Roller Girl co-captain IM Pain out of the top spot by four votes. In the MVP race, she blew away the competition.
Annie Knuckles is a name I only recently became very familiar with; same with her team, Chemical Valley.
First, there was a bout at Mason-Dixon. CVRG was supposed to play, but the weather had caused floods and gas shortages, so only a few skaters made it up to play on the Northside Stranglers. Annie Knuckles was one of those skaters and Groper Cleavage quickly realized that she needed to be on the floor more than on the bench. She was so strong and agile that Mason-Dixon didn’t know what to do with her. She won MVP for that bout.
Then, a friend of mine reffed the Ohio River Valley Riot tournament and came home raving about a team called Chemical Valley who was just incredible to watch. (You know, when he wasn’t skating.)
Then I do this all star vote and I am flooded with adoration for a skater named Annie Knuckles. I knew of Annie by this point, was friends with her on Facebook, and talked derby somewhat regularly. She joined a Derbalife challenge I am running and I found out that she is also a Health Coach. She is dedicated to being her best and to helping anyone she can be their best.
I’ve looked through pictures of her skating and it is easy to tell that she is talented and strong; she would be an asset to any team, whether unaffiliated or Division 1 in W.F.T.D.A. There is much I could say, but I believe that the thoughts I collected on Annie Knuckles sums her up. I will say that I am excited for the chance to skate with her in 2013 in challenges and scrimmages. I’m thrilled to work with her in Derbalife and I can’t wait to be better friends with this talented and gracious skater.
Knucksie is the embodiment of hard-work, dedication and determination in roller derby. There are many different layers to what makes her an All-Star, but much of it boils down to the obvious love she has for the sport. Many different skaters hit the track for many different reasons ranging from looking to get fit to wanting to feel a sense of accomplishment. With Knucksie, you can tell she just loves to skate fast and hit people. Unfortunately for many opponents, she is damn good at it, too.
However, to fully appreciate what makes Knucksie so great is to know that derby was not some innate ability bestowed upon her. What you see on the track during bouts is a result of what many (aside from those who train with her) don’t get to see on the track during practice. She is there to set up the track lines before practice and clean up the track surface afterwards. From the first whistle to the last, Knucksie is giving 100%. It’s the liters of sweat she leaves on the track during practice that makes it all look like it’s no sweat during bouts.
Knucksie leads by example and as a result has elevated her team to where it is today. Those who train with her tend to strive for the same level of excellence she works so diligently for day after day as if her love for the sport were contagious. She often times talks of the positive impact derby has had on her life, as do many other skaters in the sport, but the head fake of her involvement in the sport is that she has done just as much for derby, especially in our area, as it has done for her… if not more.”
– Bucky Dynamite, Head Ref of Chemical Valley Roller Girls
The most fluid, natural skater I’ve ever seen. Extraordinarily quick and extremely nimble, she cuts through traffic with no apparent effort and rarely, if ever, gets beaten by opposing jammers. A tireless worker and a great athlete. – Walt Barnett, Chemical Valley NSO
“What can I say about one of my favorite skaters in WV? Any team that has played against Chemical Valley is very familiar with their star jammer, Annie Knuckles. I have skated against her several times and have had the pleasure of skating with her as a teammate twice. I would much rather have her as a teammate. As a jammer she is quick, graceful, and a smart skater. She maneuvers quickly as she makes her way through the pack over and over again. When she is an opponent my team knows they have to work extra hard to keep her from breaking though the pack or jumping the apex. She has both an amazing attitude and raw talent for the sport of Roller Derby. Her natural ability and hard work make her not only an excellent skater but a true athlete. I truly enjoy just watching her skate and every time I see her bout she just keeps getting better.” – Sween Machine, Captain, Ohio Valley Roller Girls All Stars
Thank you to Intuitive Capturing Studios and King Photography for use of the photos used in this article.
Congrats to all the All Stars from the Mid-Atlantic South region! Keep your eyes peeled for other a wrap-up article where you’ll get to see the whole list at once.
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