Published on January 7th, 2014 | by Hale Yeah2
Dave Wood by Danforth Johnson
Derby’s Renaissance Man: Dave Wood
Dave Wood is known the derby-world over as an incredible photographer. His amazing black and white photographs have captured some of derby’s most emotional moments on the track ranging from Rocky Mountain Rollergirls hoisting the Hydra in 2010 to derby’s first World Cup to the jubilation of London beating Rose City at D1 playoffs this year. His crisp shots have not only told the story of the game itself, but his images have spoken to the emotional narrative as well.
While his love of derby photography has not waned, a new challenge emerged in 2013, which he took to with all of his energy: bench managing Rocky Mountain’s charter, the 5280 Fight Club – a role he did not need to be asked twice about. “It certainly didn’t take much convincing. I pretty much said yes the minute the idea came up as a possibility… it’s long been something I’ve been interested in and something I thought I’d be decent at. I’m very competitive and very positive.”
The role which Dave would take on was carefully considered given its newness to the team. “We had noticed that more and more of the top level teams have someone acting in this [bench manager] capacity but we held off for a long time at Rocky Mountain because we were concerned about giving some random person too much power so quickly.” said Captain Winona Fighter. “We had hoped that the perfect skater retiree would come around, but when someone is done skating they’re usually totally done with derby. I was thinking about how much of a super fan Dave is, and that he is already a bit of a sports nut in general and thought that it might be helpful to have someone like that on our side.”
Winona continued, “Of course we’re derby girls and we’re a little reluctant to hand over control of our team so we discussed what we were looking for and asked Dave if he might want to become more involved with Fight Club in the 2013 season. We were sensitive to the fact that we didn’t want someone to come in and start acting as coach as we felt that we had done a good job of that ourselves and felt that was something that needed to be built up to. But, we knew we wanted to start grooming people to help us on the bench. …both Dave and Raven (we affectionately refer to them as “Draven”) have been instrumental in our success this past season. Dave has a ton of energy … and it’s been pretty cool to have someone who can watch footage, run #’s on rankings, help us strategize, run experiments on what works the best for our team”
Dave has not been idle during his team’s 12-4 season in 2013. He has been improving his own skating skill and has even taken on the stripes in order to better see the game from all perspectives. “I knew the game as well as most serious fans know the game, but that’s not the same as knowing how to play the game. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m doing everything I can think of to help me get better. I’m learning to skate and I’m learning to ref — both largely because I think they’ll help me be better at my job.”
While Dave will continue to don the photographer’s hat at Rocky Mountain home team bouts, he is looking forward to his sophomore year as bench manager of the 5280 Fight Club in 2014 and all that a new season of WFTDA roller derby has to offer.
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