The Citadel is a pretty tight-laced place. However, stepping into the transformed McAlister Field House on Sunday felt like peeling back the corner of the main tent when the circus is in town. Dudes with massive beards, girls with pink hair, paramedics standing by — turns out the Lowcountry Highrollers throw my kind of party. The turnout for their first bout of the season filled roughly a quarter of the seats in the Bulldogs basketball arena.  

After settling down on the “caution” tape that defines the closest seating area, it became very clear that it wasn’t just for show. These girls play hard, pushin’, bumpin’, rubbin’ — it was like NASCAR in the good ol’ days. A friendly woman beside me explained how the scoring worked, and after the first half, I had it down. But even before the lesson I knew that the Highrollers were laying the grindstone to the visiting Mother State Roller Derby from Virginia.

At halftime the announcer fed us a line about playing the “Ask your favorite roller girl a question” game, and called Red Dread to the center of the rink. When the “fan” came down to ask the question, Red started to cry, and when he got down on one knee, we all knew what was about to happen. Tackling her new fiance to the ground and laying a rather passionate kiss on him, it’s safe to say her answer was yes. Never in my life have I heard an ensemble of “Get Her!”, “Yeah, You Go Baby!”, and an occasional “Hit Somebody!” change to a unison “Awwwww” so quickly.

The second half went just as smoothly as the first, and the Highrollers ended the bout with almost 100 points more than the opposition. The event was a great gathering of all kinds of people screaming for their favorite skaters. And with names like Green Eyed Sniper, Attackagawea, and Sexual Chocolate, who wouldn’t want to holler?