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580 Rollergirls look to move up

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LAWTON, Okla._The 580 Rollergirls are looking to step up into the big leagues soon when they get full membership to the Women's Flat Track Derby Association. They worked towards that goal tonight by taking on Tulsa tonight at the Great Plains Coliseum.

The roller girls have been competing twice a month during each season since 2010, a feat that's definitely not for the faint of heart.  Derby attracts a special, tough kind of person, just like Shannon Johnson, or Cocoa Thunder, as she goes by in Derby.

"I saw an ad when the team first came here and they said they were going to be roller derbying and I was like I'm doing it and I did it, and I'll never turn back,” said Johnson.

Right now there are nine members of the 580 Roller Girls who hit, fall down, sweat, and work hard to be the best.  "I would have to say it's a group of very close friends. We don't always get along. You know, you put a bunch of women together there’s going to be some drama but we love each other, we always got each others backs. It's a lot of fun.  We stick together like family,” said Johnson.

This isn't their regular job though.  Bridgett Ruth, or OkieChoke, as she goes by in Derby says, "Derby is a whole other lifestyle. We spend at least 40 hours a week on this on top of a regular job as well." There are doctors, teachers, and lots of moms. Johnson said, "I like to set an example for my kids. Sometimes it takes a bit of the time away; sometimes they don't get the time they would like from me. But in the end they love to see the crowd scream for their mom."

Like most sports, derby gives them a time to relax and let it go. Johnson continued, "It's just good for us all the way around. You know, it keeps me calm, keeps me from hurting one of them." Even though you can get broken bones, busted lips, and bruises, they still go back for more. "Basically I love to do it, I don't know what else I would do with my spare time."

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