Thorn:(chattering teeth) M-m-man, it's cold out there! My brain is froz-frozen! I can't-t-t even remem-mem-member who I'm supposed to int-int-interview!
Ron: (closing door) My Name is Ron Wilcox, also known as Rocky.
Thorn: (brushing off snow) That's right! Nice to meet y-y-you. What t-town is this? It's not a big city.
Ron: Parkhill, Ontario, Canada (gestures toward chair by fireplace)
Thorn: (warming up) Wooo! I love the snow, but boy that wind blows through your bones! Have you always lived here between lake Huron and Lake Eerie?
Ron: Born and raised here. (bringing hot cider)
Thorn: Mmmm, thanks! (sipping) I always wondered how those lakes got their names, the other three names-Superior, Ontario, and Michigan are pretty obvious. Do you know the story on Huron and Erie?
Ron:Not really, I'm not into the history of many things, I do know that Huron is form the Huronian Indians but Erie I'm not sure.
Thorn: Hmmmm. So, what kind of work do you do Ron?
Ron: Furniture refinisher for the past fifteen years.
Thorn: (looking at furniture) I see. Is this is some of your handiwork? Where can I see some more?
Ron: Celtic Refinishing
Thorn: Well, not that my blood has thawed, tell me more about yourself. What has made your life a great life to live?
Ron: I've been married for fourteen years with two wonderful children, both of whom play darts. The 10 year old is just starting and my 13 year old is top in league and headed to provincial championships. I run a youth dart league that has won district championships, local shoots and heading to provincials. I have taken the league in our small town from five to twenty-one kids this year from last, and expect more next year, as I have proven I can teach anyone the sport of darts!
Thorn: (Spewing cider) Pfffft! Nine years old?!?! (wiping mouth) In the provincial championships?!?!? I did some research before I got here-there's like thirteen million people in this province! That's amazing, and you're obviously super proud. And your youth league has won qualifiers before?!? Awesome. It's so cool to bring young people to the sport. By the way, do people here mostly speak English or French or both?
Thorn: And how long have you been logging in to SEWA?
Ron: I have been a member for almost six years now.
Thorn: Cool. And I'm guessing you must be pretty good if your thirteen year-old kid is playing in championships.
Ron: (smiling) Most days I can hold my own against anyone. I have been playing for eight years steady now and have made it to the provincial championships and ended in fourth. I have thrown one nine dart game in league this season, and just missed another a few weeks ago. I have a passion for the sport, and My thirteen year old son is a big factor in this also--he keeps right there with me for everything darting wise! My skills still need to be better but right now I think I'm almost to my prime. I have 8 of my youth players heading to youth provincials again this year, coming in March, where their chances of moving to Nationals are looking pretty good!Thorn: (Gaping) A nine dart game? Whoa. You know that's like, like.well, like, real good, you know. No eight dart cricket games? Do they play as much cricket here as in the States?
Ron: Not much, just started playing Cricket, teaching it but not playing as much! As for the nine dart game , I missed another one a few weeks ago, hit the first 8 marks perfect, then for some stupid reason I hit the D18 instead of the D12. Guess it was one of those moments where you just go "D'oh!".(laughing)Thorn: Well, now that I'm more or less impressed beyond words, give us a list of all your favorite darting achievements.
Ron: Making it to the Provincials last season and coming in 4th. Winning regionals first try at it. Teaching the youth players the sport and having them win regionals and having a great showing at provincials. My biggest accomplishment has to be working with the youth here in town and doing so well at it.and bringing in John Part for exhibitions each year for the past years, and having such a great champion to play side by side with!
Thorn: (on floor, kowtowing) Teach me your ways oh great Rocky of Wilcox! (resuming chair) Actually, I've heard John is a really down to earth guy, which is so nice to hear.even if he is (voice increasing) the Three Time WORLD CHAMPION!!!! How did you get to know him?!?
Ron: Actually met him on SEWA here, seen him before but never really chatted, then he showed up here and we hit it off quick, I consider John a great friend who I can call anytime and chat with if needed!
Thorn: Wow. Ok, well if you're throwing nine dart games and playing with world and youth champions, you must have used up all your good fortune, right? (eye brow raised) And the rest of your life must be miserable, right?
Ron: Living happy, have two wonderful children and a great wife that puts up with my darting obsession. (laughing)
Thorn: How would you describe the sport of darts in this neck of the woods, here in the Canada's most southernmost point?
R: Very challenging, some of the best players in North America come from this area. Many people have said many times that this area of Southern Ontario is the hardest place to make it big in darts because the competition is so high. Canada is now considering having darts considered a sport. We'll see if that happens! We have a great selection of players here in Ontario, including the likes of John Part, Gary Mawson, Dan Olsen, Carmen, and many more. A great selection of semi pros to say the least!
Thorn: What do you hope to accomplishment in the future.let's say.the next five years?
Ron: I would like to make it to the national championships, at least once, to have that experience. I have played the likes of John Part, Carmen, and others, but making it to the finals would be a great accomplishment!
Thorn: What about playing league? Are you involved in that? How have you fared?
Ron: (smiling) I play three different leagues. I have a Friday night league that I was president last year of and I have played there for four years, taking the top spot two years running and second last year. This year we are currently sitting in first and not looking back! We are currently sitting 78-19. I have the season locked up and will walk away with, Most 180s, High score, Mens most wins, season champs, and hopefully come the next 2 weeks, Playoff champs, so its been a great year! I play in a Monday night league in another town--this is the first year I have played there and am currently sitting second. I also play in the Premiere League of Darts Ontario, but sitting out this year due to youth obligations!
Thorn: And what about these youngsters? Are the numbers increasing? And, how's the talent? Do they have what it takes?
Ron: Yes, for sure. I have turned my youth league into a great league this year and more are asking to join. I make it fun while at the same time getting them to learn the sport. I see greatness from the youth players, they are the future of the sport, and we need them to be involved as much as we can! (excited) I hope to train a future World Champion!
Thorn: You certainly seem to have the skills and ambition to make it happen Ron. Thanks for the cider, and be sure to send me a picture of you and your sons. (standing) Before I don my mittens and snowshoes, any final words or thoughts?
Ron: Darts is a sport, and I think the world governing bodies should recognize the hard work kids do to make it a sport.We now have received our team shirts, and this has really pumped the kids up. They can't wait to how off there new digs at tourneys! And well. Don't let the snowman chase you out the driveway!