Parker Eyeout’s strong blocking skills impress Derby Liberation Front and win her MVPby Jim Almy
If Parker Eyeout (#070) were to evaluate her skills on the track she would say that one of her talents is staying with her fellow blockers, both in working with a partner or working with the pack.
“One of my strengths is being able to skate backwards well,” she said. “I can brace another blocker and that reinforces the wall. I’m not a big hitter. I’m more of a container and better at keeping people behind me than actually hitting them out of bounds.”
Her skills as a blocker were displayed well enough last Saturday in the Rat City Rollergirls’ bout between her team, Throttle Rockets, and Derby Liberation Front (DLF) to have DLF award her Most Valuable Player.
That accolade culminated a three year derby history that began with a tryout after watching a bout.
“I hadn’t been on skates in twenty years,” she said. She was selected to start learning with a group called Potential Fresh Meat, an entry-level training team for many skaters who now are part of roller derby teams.
“As long as you’re not a hazard to anyone around you they’ll take you and do work from the ground up,” Parker said. “I skated with that group for about three months, then went to a Rat City tryout where I was selected to join Rat Lab, a sort of minor league to the four teams in the RCRG league.” From there her quickly developing skills and athletic skating ability helped her get drafted to the Rockets.
People outside roller derby recognize Parker as Jennifer Parker Hamilton, the young woman from Wisconsin who took her Bachelors degree in zoology at the University of Wisconsin, paired that with a Masters from the University of Montana in geography, and followed that with a position in Seattle as a technical engineer.
While most of her family is still in the Midwest she said that she has aunts and uncles living on Whidbey Island who love to come to her bouts. She’s also convincing fellow workers to become roller derby fans, she said.
Parker started out primarily as a jammer, which she did most of last season but, she said, “I always liked blocking a lot more.” Her latest efforts have been to improve her screening for her jammer, to make her offense good enough that she and her fellow blockers can get their jammer out of the pack in just a couple seconds.
Last week her team lost by ten points in the final jam. “Re-watching the footage it’s hard not to see all the things you could have done to change the outcome,” she said.
The problem for the other teams in the league is that Parker, and the Rockets, will make those changes.
For tickets to the next bout at KeyArena, go HERE