Andover High School graduate Carroll Cunningham  will skate with her team this weekend at the Shriner's Auditorium. Cunningham skates under the pseudonym Shelby Shattered.

Carroll Anne Cunningham spends her days as an assistant project manager at Shawmut Construction Co. in Boston. Shellby Shattered spends her evenings and weekends inline skating around a rink -- wiping out anyone who comes in her path.

They are the same woman.

Cunningham, a 1996 graduate of Andover High School, is co-captain of the Boston Derby Dames, an all-female roller derby league. "Shattered" is her stage name and alter ego.

The 5-foot-10 brunette will perform in the neighborhood this weekend, when she competes Saturday at Shriner's Auditorium in Wilmington.

Cunningham, who has tattooed upper arms and looks younger than her 29 years, said she first heard about the group during the summer of 2005, through a "friend of a friend."

"I think there were about six girls on the league," she said. "At that time you didn't have to try out. Now you do."

A tryout would hardly present a problem for Cunningham, who's been an inline skater since age 14. Her younger sister, Christie, who lives in Tennessee, is also a member of a roller derby team.

Today, Boston Derby Dames league consists of four teams, including the team Cunningham co-captains.

Cunningham also travels the country as part of an all-star team known as "The Boston Massacre." She said she practices five times a week.

The unusual and often quirky stage names, such as Shellby Shattered, come from puns or word play, Cunningham said. Each team's uniform is tailored specifically for the team's name. Her local uniform is a red mesh gym suit that looks straight out of 1985.

"Our team uniform is mesh to represent the 'Revere townie,'" Cunningham said.

Another team -- named after a favorite Christmastime ballet (wink,wink) -- dons tutus and puts a new spin on the Tchaikovsky theme, she added.

But don't be fooled -- in spite of the outlandish costumes and names, roller derby is a full contact sport, she said.

"Nobody takes it easy on anyone," said Cunningham, who wears full protective gear, including a helmet, a mouth guard and a tailbone protector, to each competition.

At a typical competition, or "jam" as they're known, two teams put five skaters on the track at a time. The point of the game is to pass those from the opposite team. This can, at times, result in injuries, she said.

"When I first started, we had some broken ankles, a broken leg," she said. "... But (now) it's mainly just fishnet burns or bruises."

Despite those inherent risks, the sport is increasingly popular, she said.

"The last time we had tryouts, we had around 30 girls try out," Cunningham said. "But this year, we have 100 or so on our e-mail list."

This year's tryouts are scheduled for June 10. Those tryouts aren't just limited to those with natural athletic prowess, Cunningham emphasized. Photographs on the team's page on a social networking site show women of all heights and body types. Cunningham herself is on the slender side.

Really, it's all about attitude, she said.

"You don't necessarily have to skate. If you have the right attitude, or we see the potential, we will take you," she said.


What: Roller derby all-stars, the Boston Massacre vs. Baltimore's Charm City Roller Girls

Where: Shriner's Auditorium, Wilmington.

When: Doors open at 5 p.m., begins at 6 p.m.

How much: Online tickets sold out, $15 tickets at door.

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