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Sunny,44°
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Derby diva calls Baldwin home
Courtesy Rick Odell
The grim girls of Strong Island Derby will play an inter-squad “civil war” Sept. 29. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warriors.

You wouldn’t know it to look at her, but three-year Baldwin resident Andrea Bucciano leads a double life.

On one hand, the 32-year-old is a quiet resident of Lancaster Avenue, off Sunrise Highway. She’s a vegetarian. She works at an assisted-living facility in Levittown, teaches psychology as an adjunct professor at St. Francis University and conducts mental health therapy sessions with disabled people. She likes going to NOVI with her fiancé, and they also hit the Irish pub a lot.

But slap a pair of roller skates and fishnets on her and Bucciano transforms into Mean Frostine, the hard-skating, hard-hitting head of coaching for the Strong Island Roller Derby Revolution. The Herald spoke with the Brooklyn-born Bucciano about the sport she loves, the town she lives in and an upcoming bout on Sept. 29.

Baldwin Herald: So … roller derby. How did that come about?

Andrea Bucciano: I played ice hockey for years growing up. I started at 7 or 8 and played all through high school and college. After that, one of my friends told me about derby. She invited me to a practice and it was just super-addictive and awesome. It’s a really tough and challenging sport, but it’s also a community. I’ve been playing for three years now and I’ve met people from all walks of life. I’m hooked.

BH: What’s with the names?

AB: Oh, everyone has a nickname. It’s like an initiation. We barely know each other’s real names. If someone mentions Linda to me, I say, ‘Linda? Who’s that?’ But if they say Serial Mom, then I know whom they’re talking about.

BH: How do you get the names?

AB: You have to earn them. You don’t get called by your nickname until you pass a basic skills test. You have to do 10 laps in two minutes, you have to take a hip check, give hip and shoulder checks. You have to be able to booty block — which sounds funny when I say it, but is important. You have to have agility and be able to weave through obstructions. Once you can pass those tests you choose your name and you’re never known by your real name after that.

BH: We hear you’re in charge of coaching young players into shape. How so?

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