COLUMBIA — Senior Jonathan Gunter has a nickname that balances his technique with the ball and his reserved personality — “Big Crazy.”
“It’s ironic. He’s the quietest kid I’ve met, but it’s such a great thing. He’s also the most technical player, the things he does with the ball are unreal. The nickname is situational irony,” Rock Bridge coach Kyle Austin said.
Gunter’s teammates and coach describe him as reserved, respectful and the politest kid you’ll ever meet. The nickname originated from two players on the team when they started calling him “Big Crazy” and it just stuck. Gunter can do “crazy” things with the ball and the nickname’s ironicbecause he’s one of the more reserved players on the team.
“I think it’s funny, it doesn’t bother me. Whenever I hear it I always just laugh,” Gunter said.
Austin said “He’s the most polite, respectful and reserved kid on the team. It’s always yes sir, no sir, please, thank you.”
Other than soccer, Gunter is also involved in National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, volunteering at the hospital, Math Club, Ping Pong Club and Portkey Club.
On the field, Gunter said he leads more by example than by vocals. When he gets on the field, there is instant offense. He increases the play of the game and he comes off the bench with energy.
Gunter has only been with the Rock Bridge soccer program for two years. He was on Sedalia’s soccer team for his freshman and sophomore year, where it is not as competitive as it is at Rock Bridge.
“He really understands the team concept. He knows his role on the team. He comes off the bench, taking it in stride,” Austin said. “He is so respectful and he is all about the team. He does what he can for the team and I always know when he goes out on the field he will give 110 percent.”
The Rock Bridge soccer team has so many strong and unique personalities on it, which might be the recipe for a team with a record of 23-5.
“At the beginning of the season I thought that they might clash, but they don’t,” Austin said. “There’s so many eclectic personalities it keeps you on your toes as a coach. They’ve managed to bond the uniqueness and they’re really just a bunch of goof balls.”
Gunter said, “Having so many different personalities on the team makes it more fun. We’re always joking around, and we all get along pretty well, which is why we can play so well.”
Gunter said that his favorite on the field moment was when he scored his goal from 45 yards out against Whitfield. His favorite off the field moment was on the way home from the district championship game when everyone was singing and rapping on the bus.
Rock Bridge plays Saturday at 3 p.m. against visiting Carthage (24-4).