World Cup Team USA Tryouts Continue
Buster Cheatin holds The Hydra after coaching the Gotham Girls to the 2008 WFTDA title. Photo: Tom Igoe
Leading Team USA to the World Cup with Buster Cheatin is San Diego Derby Dolls founder Bonnie D. Stroir. Photo: Joe Rollerfan
In 2004, Buster Cheatin fell in love with roller derby, along with his wife, Gotham Girls All-Star skater Donna Matrix. Buster was an NSO for Gotham Girls Roller Derby’s first 2005 season opener bout. He went on to referee for the league soon after, and became the manager of the Queens of Pain that season, helping to guide the team to 3 home season championships. In August of 2005, Buster was a part of history when he managed Gotham in their first ever interleague bout. He refereed at the fist ever WFTDA tournament, Dust Devil 2006, and was on the bench with Gotham Girls All-Stars as manager for the first ever WFTDA East Region Tournament championship win. He has since managed Gotham through 3 more East Region championship wins, as well as one National Championship win in 2008.
In 2008, Blood and Thunder magazine founder Dale Rio aka Black Dahlia and some talented friends began leading roller derby boot camps all over the world. In the fall of 2010, Blood and Thunder announced that it would sponsor the world’s first international flat-track roller derby World Cup in Toronto on December 1-4, 2011.
On finding the announcement for World Cup, Gotham co-staffer Endless Justin showed it to Buster and recommended that he apply to coach Team USA. Like many other roller derby staffers worldwide, Buster Cheatin was inspired by the idea of being a part of this historic event and submitted an application to be Head Coach.
Buster was selected to be Head Coach of Team USA. Shortly thereafter, legendary skater and league founder Bonnie D. Stroir, the brains behind the world’s first hybrid banked/flat track roller derby league San Diego Derby Dolls, was selected to be his Assistant Coach. Bonnie has skated and coached roller derby since 2004, starting as a skater with the L.A. Derby Dolls. She has built a reputation worldwide as a coach and advisor of young leagues.
The two coaches have had little opportunity to work together in person thus far, but they're enjoying the process of creating this superteam together, says Buster. They are looking forward to the work that lies ahead, as well as more opportunity to share the unique skills each brings to the table. Bringing together the manager of what has long been one of the top 3 flat-track roller derby teams worldwide, and the former captain of the only team in modern roller derby to win 2 consecutive banked track roller derby titles, Team USA already has a foundation in coaching success.
The selection process for a team comprising the best skaters available today in the entire US roller derby community is a daunting one, but Buster Cheatin and Bonnie D. Stroir are invigorated by the challenge. They have arrived at what they consider to be the fairest possible methods that give opportunity not only to the top skaters in competition in WFTDA, but any up and coming skaters in the US derby community that have the drive and ambition to compete. Inclusion and fairness are the top goals in the tryout process, and the coaches are dedicated to opening this rare opportunity to any and all comers.