Daily Dart Peeps Profile: Nurse & Dart Player Jackie Thorson, South Dakota

NDA:   Jackie, tell us a bit about yourself, where you grew up and live now…and your family. Besides work and darts, any hobbies or interests?

JACKIE:  I was born in California and raised in Nevada. I have lived in Aberdeen SD for way too many years. I have 2 daughters, Seleste, 21, a Junior in the Nursing Program at Augustana University and Isabelle, 18, a Freshman, majoring in Communication/Business and International Studies at Augustana University. My partner in crime Anthony aka Goat has blessed me with 3 grandchildren, Logan, Savanha, and Camille who I am honored to have them call me Nana (yes I know what you are thinking… way too young to be grandparents). Besides darts I enjoy playing softball and teaching my grandson Logan the art of throwing darts.

NDA: What do you do for work?  What has it been like during the pandemic?

JACKIE:  I am the Director of Nursing at a long term care facility-Avantara Groton.

It has been so surreal. I am not on the front lines caring for people that are Covid-19 positive. I spend my days on conference calls with my regional team and Department of Health learning all the new policies and procedures that come with the everchanging virus. I then get to implement the things I learn to keep my residents and staff safe and healthy. I wear many hats in my building and there is never a dull moment.

NDA:   Did you ever think that what you do would be considered heroic by so many of us?

JACKIE: Not at all. I have been a nurse for 8 years and I enjoy what I do. It is very humbling to receive the outpouring of love and support by my friends, family and random strangers.

NDA:  How and when did you start playing darts?

JACKIE: I started throwing darts in 2014. I had a few adult beverages and agreed to throw in my sister in laws dart league to qualify for state in 2015. And now I am hooked.

NDA:  How often do you play now?   

JACKIE: Prior to Covid-19, we threw in house and remote leagues 5 nights a week. There were times on a Sunday afternoon you could catch Goat and I throwing on all 3 boards at Schwan’s.

NDA: Who is your dart league operator/coordinator and what’s the main value they bring to the table?

JACKIE: I throw for Hub Music and Vending, and Alvin Gerlach. Alvin is such a great coordinator. He takes such great care of his dart throwers. He goes above and beyond and regardless of what tourney we are at he always makes a point to check in and see how everyone is doing.  Plus he is pretty spectacular at making custom jerseys!!

NDA: How would you describe your game?

JACKIE:  Inconsistent! My game has changed greatly since I started throwing darts. When I started, I threw a 17-18ppd and now I am around a 23ppd. But I have my nights where I struggle to hit a 15. Darts is a very mental game for me and sometimes my head gets in the way.

NDA:  What do you like most about darts?

JACKIE: The people you get to meet. I have the most amazing dart family. We have friends across the United states and even in Canada. Dart folks are the most friendly and giving people I have met. (for the most part, there is always those few bad apples,)

NDA: What is the coolest thing you have gotten to experience as a dart player?

JACKIE: Honestly the day I got to meet Willie J Bruguier at the St. Patty’s Day tourney. I was like a 14 year old girl just meeting Justin Bieber. His darts were one of the first sets of darts I purchased.  I learned that the reason my darts don’t fly like his is because he uses black flights and mine are white! (good excuse right?)

NDA:  What advice would (or do) you give to new/novice dart players you meet?

JACKIE: The game of darts is a fickle game, there are good days and bad days. Have fun, enjoy the game and most of all enjoy the people!

NDA:  If you could pick one person you’d like to play a game of darts with, who would it be and why?

JACKIE: That’s a tough one. I am thinking I would love to get my butt kicked by Krissy Grimal. She is a phenomenal thrower.

NDA: Have you attended Team Dart?  If yes, how many times and what are your thoughts on this annual event?

JACKIE: Yes, I was at Team Dart 2 years ago this was my first time. My youngest graduated from high school last year so we had to skip that one. We were so looking forward to this year. This event was an amazing experience. We got to meet so many new people from near and far. Goat and I even placed in a few events.

NDA: Were you going out to Vegas this year?   As you know, it was cancelled, which was a big disappointment. What was/is your reaction to what was an inevitable action?  

JACKIE: Yes, we were going to attend Team Dart this year. As a nurse, I totally agree with the decision that the NDA made to cancel this year’s event. We need to keep as many people healthy and safe as long as possible. This too shall pass!

NDA:  Finally, besides your nursing duties, what have you been doing to get through these challenging times?  What is your typical day like?

JACKIE: Honestly not much. Thanks to Snapchat, Facetime and group text I stay in contact with friends and family. I work a lot of hours, if I am not in my building working I am usually at home working remotely. On my down time, Goat and I throw darts on our GranBoard.

NDA:  What is your favorite…

…Movie: That’s tough. It’s a toss up between: Sweet Home Alabama or Fools Rush In

…Music or band: Five Finger Death Punch or Kenny Chesney

…Food: TACOS

…TV show: I enjoy cooking shows like Master Chef or Diners Drive Ins and Dives; I love food!!

…Thing to do in Vegas (besides playing darts): Spending time with friends. I grew up about 6 hours north of Vegas so my family was coming to see me this year, so next year it will be spending time with my fam damily.

NDA: Anything else to add?

JACKIE: I appreciate everything that the NDA does. I know there is so much work that goes into putting on big tourneys like Team Dart and I am so grateful that I am able to walk in throw darts and drink beer and just have a good time. Thank you to all the NDA members for all you do to keep this sport fun and enjoyable!!

NDA:  No, thank YOU for all that you are doing during this pandemic.   We hope you will be back playing darts with your friends soon and joining us—and your family—in Vegas for Team Dart next April.

Published April 20, 2020

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