The team members have a strong connection with one another. They are always hanging out together, not just when practice is going on but outside of it as well.
Kate Bourgeois, who joined the team in October 2011 and is a blocker, feels that the bonding brings the team that much closer than other teams.
“We hang out a lot outside of the team,” Bourgeois said. “We go out in the summer; we do activities together outside of derby, and it creates a strong bond. We are able to skate with each other all the time, and that creates a strong connection. Also with the trips we take to Long Island, Albany and all the traveling we do, it helps us bond.”
This sport appears to involve a lot of violence and anger towards each person, but Gretchen Dean-Lefevre, a jammer and blocker who joined the team in February 2011, feels the sport relieves tension that lasts throughout a tough work week and helps with letting anger out, too.
“It’s definitely a great stress relief and helps if you have things bottled up,” Dean-Lefevre said. “It helps when you can just get away from everything in your life and to just have a little bit of fun.”
Dean-Lefevre said that it’s amazing to know how popular this sport has become in the North Country, since it seemed like the sport was dead for some time. Not many people really heard about the sport until the Lumber Jills were created.
Bourgeois loves the fact that the fans usually pack the arena. The players are always overjoyed with the reception they get. Bourgeois said that fans of all ages watch. Lefevre loves the support the team gets and said the team thrives off of it.
“Fans really come and support us, and we are thankful for that,” Lefevre said. “For a sport that wasn’t that popular anymore and the fact we have people as young as seven to elders come and see what the sport is about is nice, and we support them right back.”