Shawn “Opie” Purgold has been around. It’s not often that you meet an ADA member that hasn’t crossed paths with Opie. If he isn’t present at an event, he’s on the phone with a member who is. He has been a member for 11 years and attended an impressive 10 ADA National Championships within the 11 years of membership. What started with a pair of house darts at UNOs with Tony Smeland led to a blind draw at Sandbar which eventually turned into league play.
Opie became an ADA member in the 236 VA area (2UP2DOWN) in 2002. He subbed in 235 Virginia Beach area but moved to Kansas City MO in 2012. He met Kansas City members at the St. Louis Regional in 2006. He said they immediately made him feel at home. Years later he would move to Jim Yates / Cindy Larkins area long enough to attend to the Blue Springs Regional in December and short enough to attend the Mid Atlantic Regional in May. This is where this interview, requested by Opie, took place.
Since Opie decided to be interviewed there was no set direction for the article. If there was a lull in the conversation Opie would look around the dart hall and point out a darter and provide a compliment about them like this one; “You meet people like Mark Hinds, who are superstars and you don’t mind because he’s humble and a great guy.” He’s right. You don’t mind playing against him because he’s complimenting the opponents or showing off his dance moves.
Opie can’t say enough good things about all ADA members. We conducted the interview during the ADA Mid Atlantic Regional at RJ’s on Saturday morning. It was early in the morning and many members didn’t even know he was back in the area.
It’s no surprise that Opie’s favorite event is Team. For those members who aren’t familiar with ADA Team event it consists of 4-6 players per team and runs 8-10 weeks. Opie said, “Some people complain about Team event because you don’t get to play a lot. I love it. I love Team league because you can hang out, talk, be with your friends and meet new ones”.
Opie compared his 10+ years of membership to the ADA to being Alumni of a college; “Regional and National Championships are like reunions. It’s being around people you get excited to see again.”
If you are interested in the ADA and are worried about the rules or have questions Opie has advice for you; “don’t stress! You’ll have a good time!” He’s right about that. Whether you are new to league, Regional or National events ADA members will take the time to explain what’s going on and you’ll be friends before you know it.
Hampton VA ADA Rep Cindy Moran was asked, “What’s your reaction to having Opie back in your area?” Without hesitation her response to him was; “Yeah! You got a team?”
With all the hugs, handshakes, shout outs, high fives and smiles given to Opie during our interview it seems to me - regardless of where he ends up – he will never be without a team.