Strap on your helmet and pads: MedCity Mafiais back and better than ever.

March 17 is the roller derby team’s home opener against the River City Dames- an opponent they’ve traded wins and losses with in the past, said team captain Nicole Rusch.

This year’s lineup is a mix of veteran skaters, transfers from other teams, and rookies. "We’re excited about our transfer skaters who were ready to step into our lineup right away and fill some holes on defense," said Rusch. "Historically, our team has been lacking big hitters, and two of our transfers are quite skilled in that area."

The new recruits have trained since early fall, and the entire team has practiced together since December. 

"Practices have been going well, but the intensity is a lot higher during games, plus we feed off the energy of the crowd," Rusch said.

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Get ready to supply that energy Saturday in Graham Arena.

Jennifer "Green Eggs and Slam" Logelin, event coordinator for MedCity Mafia, said the matches are family-friendly and exciting. "Well-matched games are fun to watch," she said. "In years past, it’s been pretty competitive, pretty even."

The match’s featured charity is Gift of Life Transplant House. April is Donate Life month, which means raising awareness through the month of March.

Bring your young ’uns and a dollar to play in the short kids’ game before the bout, or just hang out and listen to DJ Ever After.

Don’t forget the biggest part of going to a roller derby game, though - cheering for the home team! "We hope fans at our home opener find some favorite skaters to cheer for and then come back for our May and June games to see them again," Rusch said.

-Get your tickets online at medcityrollerderby.combefore the game, or buy them at the door.

-The doors open at 6 and the game starts at 7 p.m. You’re fine getting there between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m., but if you show up early, you might catch some of the warm-ups.

-Watch one skater as a time. The jammers (ones with a star on their helmets) are a fun pick, since they’re the ones trying to get through the pack and around the track to score.