They may sport menacing pseudonyms such as Krystal Brawl, Mia Malicious, Saracuda and Izzy Akillya, but Clintonville Killer Dollz skaters are just as much about empowerment and self-esteem as they are about full-contact mayhem.

They may sport menacing pseudonyms such as Krystal Brawl, Mia Malicious, Saracuda and Izzy Akillya, but Clintonville Killer Dollz skaters are just as much about empowerment and self-esteem as they are about full-contact mayhem.

The Clintonville Killer Dollz is a year-old junior roller derby team for girls ages 7-17. The players come from all over central Ohio, said team President Johnnie Williams.

Junior roller derby for girls isn't actually "tough as nails," as a 2013 Wall Street Journal story described it, although play can work its way up in that direction. The least-experienced skaters start out in Level One, in which "there is no hitting," said Destiny Williams, daughter of the team's president and a 13-year-old student at Dominion Middle School.

Level Two players engage in some positional blocking, she said.

"Three is, like, full contact," Destiny said. "You're accelerating to hit on skates.

"We really enjoy hitting each other."

"It's a lot of fun and it gives girls a chance to be very empowered," Johnnie Williams said last week. "Roller derby is the only full-contact sport for girls."

Williams said she and her husband, Ryan Williams, who is a coach of the Killer Dollz -- along with coach Roy Lovin and Vice President Andrea Lovin -- started the team to offer an alternative to Buckeye Beautyz, then the only roller-derby team in town.

"There are girls who were born to be ballerinas," Johnnie Williams said, "and girls who are absolutely content to play soccer or softball. And then there are girls who don't think they fit in anywhere.

"These are the girls who were born in be in roller derby."

Members of the Killer Dollz come from not only Clintonville but also Lancaster, Hilliard, Gahanna, Westerville, Worthington and the Northland area, the team president said.

"They really come from all over," she said. "Most of them couldn't even stand up on roller skates when they started."

Because the team is so new, the players aren't quite ready to play a game, called a "bout" in the language of the sport, she added. They've had some scrimmages with other teams from around the state, Williams said.

"Their self-esteem, their self-confidence, their ability to feel like they're part of a team -- it's pretty amazing to see," she said.

"When you play on different teams, you have to work together with everyone," said Destiny, whose 10-year-old sister, Aleya, also is on the team. "You feel like you have to be better at communicating with other people, even if you don't really like them."

Isabelle Sharp, also a 13-year-old student at Dominion Middle School, was recruited to join the Dollz after Destiny saw her skating at Skate Zone 71 in the Northland area.

"I didn't really know anything hardly at all," Isabelle said. "I was, like, I'm going to get thrown across the room. I'm going to die."

With practice, she said, she has learned how to brace herself and is looking forward to working her way up to full-contact play.

"It does really build your confidence up," Isabelle said. "Now that I do this, I'm not really scared to talk to anybody. I'm not scared to express how I feel."

"These girls put in a lot of real work in practices," Johnnie Williams said. "Our practices are about three hours long and we try to do that twice a week. They definitely get in a good workout."