The Fernie and Sparwood Legions sent three teams to the Comox 2016 BC/Yukon Command Darts Playdown over the first three days of April. The Legions had Sparwood’s Shayne Laible qualify for singles; the first time Laible first went to Provincials and is the first Sparwood player to do so in over 30 years. Fernie had some players who have already attended provincials, Sam Campisi and Jim Johnson qualified as the doubles team, Fernie also qualified a four-man team, Sam Campisi, Jim Johnson, Chester Hirtle and Roland Hula.
“I played for the zone tournament that was held in Sparwood for the East Kootenay zone. I won the singles division and Fernie took the doubles and four man,” said Laible. “It was the very first time I have ever done it. I didn’t realize until after I won the solo spot that it was something like 35 years since somebody from Sparwood had made it to Provincials. It was quite a huge deal and I didn’t realize that.”
As far as the competition went, all teams finished in the top 10.
“It went okay, but we didn’t win. We finished seventh in the men’s double and the four-man team finished sixth. There were 14 teams total,” Campisi said.
“I didn’t hear what the exact placement was but I won ten out of 26 games. I figure I rated around the middle area, sixth or seventh out of 14,” said Laible.
The competition was tough as the Elk Valley representatives expected. The Command Playdown is the biggest tournament that the players go to each year.
“Every time there is a big tournament it increases a little bit. It is too bad that we do not play in bigger tournaments more often around here. They have big turn outs all the time in the city,” said Campisi, adding that it is the biggest tournament of the year for his team. “The Legions with bigger areas have more players and more competition to play against, so the other teams are used to the size of the tournament.”
“When you play singles you are playing the people that won their zone tournament, they are number one in their Legion area. I was expecting the best of the best and got it,” said Laible. “When I got there it was all good, I didn’t play too bad. It took a couple games for the nerves to settle down and for me to play properly. All in all I was happy with the way I played, I shot one 180 throughout the tournament and had a couple other good scores, five or six 140s. I was shooting better there then when I was at the zone tournament.”
In the end the tournament is more than just placing, each player got to see players that only come together once a year.
“You get to meet a lot of people and only see them once a year,” said Campisi who went on to thank the many people and groups who helped send the Fernie teams to Comox like the Fernie Legion, Ann’s Independent, City of Fernie, Royal Canadian legion and Legion Zone of Command
“I’d like to say thank you to the Fernie team for staying and supporting me while I was there and I had a blast with them, I met a lot of new guys and it was neat. The Comax Legion for hosting the tournament and the Sparwood Legion for hosting the zones tournament.”