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December 26, 2017 10:00 PM

KELOLAND Dart Player Exceeding Expectations

Getting a Triple 20 or a bulls eye every time...are just a couple of the things you can perfect when you play darts. That's exactly what a local man has been doing for the last decade. 

Willard Bruguier Jr. has been traveling around to dart tournaments all around the world. The Wagner native recently had the chance to compete in the biggest event in darts...the World Darts Championship in London this month...but behind the darts and traveling he's a dad and has a prominent role in the community. 

Willard "Willie J" Bruguier Junior is just an ordinary man... but with some extraordinary skills. 

He's been traveling the world for one thing. Willie J started throwing darts with his uncle when he was just 21. 

"Being a captain of a team, it seemed like I was always looking for players," said Willard's Uncle, Tony Bruguier. 

"I decided to play league with him. Had a little knack for it," said Willie J. Bruguier. 

A knack that quickly turned into something big. 

"He went on to make himself a better dart thrower and in the upcoming years, I've seen it," said Tony Bruguier. 

"When I started getting a little bit better competing and I started winning in our own state, I decided I wanted to go out," said Willie J. Bruguier. 

He's been to distinguished dart tournaments in Chicago and even Japan, from there:

"I started experiencing a little success, started placing, started winning some money. That motivated me more to try to win. How can I win? How do I beat these guys?" said Willie J. Bruguier. 

After the success of winning tournaments and getting noticed more and more, sponsorships started flowing in. 

"What they call a product sponsor, and a barrel sponsor, and a clothing sponsor these guys started reaching out," said Willie J. Bruguier. 

And now his latest chain of successful dart throwing comes from winning the Professional Dart Corporation or PDC North American Darts Championship in Las Vegas. 

"I was able to get through my three matches and win that title. That was a huge goal for me to hit. I set out with that goal and I accomplished it," said Willie J. Bruguier. 

"He told me he was going to do that. He said I know what it takes to do that, but I'm going to be the first American to win it and sure enough, he won it," said Tony Bruguier. 

Willie J is also the first Native American man to win a coveted title like this. The title secured him a spot in the sport's biggest stage for darts, the William Hill World Dart Tournament in London earlier this month. 

"I was full of adrenaline. It was a good adrenaline but it was a heart racing adrenaline. Let's go, let's do this," said Willie J. Bruguier. 

He walked on the stage and with his heart pounding, he wasn't able to shake the nerves and lost in the first round. 

"I couldn't shake the adrenaline in my arm, I had it the whole time," said Willie J. Bruguier. 

But that isn't going to stop him from getting back to that stage. 

"I have experience, I've gotten to experience that what not a lot of folks are going to experience from our country. It's going to be a goal of mine to get back there and then I'll be able to place my experience and take care of the business at hand of actually why I'm there," said Willie J. Bruguier. 

Back in his community of Wagner, along with spending hours and hours practicing darts, he also plays a prominent role in the community as a Lieutenant for the Yankton Sioux Tribal police. 

"When we do things here at work, regardless of how serious it is, how funny it is, how dangerous it is. We handle our business daily and Willard, he's a great Leutenant. He's a great supervisor, the guys look up to him and if anybody needs anything they call for him," said LeeAnder Saunsoci, YST Law Enforcement Officer. 

His career leads him to do a lot of work within the community and he's all about helping future dart players. 

"He goes out to the Junior State Dart Tournament. He went there and takes pictures with the kids. He has plenty of fans not only with the youth but with adults," said Saunsoci. 

"He's always looking to help other people in their game. Always giving advice, not only that, he's always keeping a positive mindset," said Tony Bruguier. 

But even with the success of being a successful dart player, there's still some negative energy that comes around especially because of his Native American heritage. 

"Going into tournaments away from our state, people making snide little comments where I've had to get into tell somebody, don't say that. Don't apply that here," said Willie J. Bruguier.

Nonetheless he doesn't let that get in the way of being a dad, a law enforcement officer, and a world class dart player. Willie J says he'll always be striving to be better than yesterday in all aspects of his life, especially in the game of darts. 

"In this game, everybody strives to be better and the reason for that is because the game can't get beat," said Willie J. Bruguier.

Community members say they'll always support Willie J and are looking forward to see what he does next. 

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