April’s Featured Skater: SGT Pepper
LCC has had a very busy month preparing for the The Big O Tournament, both in training and volunteering to help make the event a success. But better late than never, right? Just in time for the end of the month and the beginning of The Big O, we take a moment to honor April’s featured skater, Sergeant Pepper.
Sergeant Pepper was built to play roller derby, and he makes sure to let all opposing players know about it with his bone-crushing play. Built like a linebacker, Pepper grew up playing outside linebacker and running back for his very successful high school football team. Oh yeah, and he also killed it at wrestling and track going to state for both. When he was bored, he would play basketball.
Pepper gets his name from crossing his occupation with his wife’s derby name. He has served his country for sixteen years in the infantry of the Oregon Army National Guard. He is currently a Platoon Sergeant.
Pepper was born on a naval base in Jacksonville, Florida. He moved around a bit before coming to Oregon. He joined the Army right out of high school. While stationed in Korea, he met his wife Cheyanne Pepper, who was also stationed there. Cheyanne encouraged Pepper to join derby over three years ago, and she occasionally participates in Lane County Concussion practices to keep the guys in check.
Pepper’s son is also part of the derby community as a star jammer for the modified contact Emerald City Junior Gems. Pepper is able to be at home for his kids when they get home from school, something he values a great deal.
Pepper was hesitant to join roller derby because of a history of knee injuries, but he has had great success due to the low impact the sport has on his knees. His favorite parts about roller derby are that it is full contact and that there is always stuff going on at all times on the track.
When Pepper isn’t leaving opposing blockers in a crumbled mess on the track, he enjoys golf, snowboarding, and traveling. He has trained in England, Japan, and Thailand and been deployed to Iraq three times. His last deployment ended in training when he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and lost 30 pounds in three weeks. Fortunately, he has been able to bounce back from this scare.
Pepper is one of LCC’s most intriguing and tenacious skaters. You can see him in action this weekend, April 29th through May 1st, at The Big O Tournament at the Lane County Fairgrounds at 10:30 am Friday against Vancouver, 8 pm Saturday against Denver, and 2 pm Sunday against Minnesota.