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Thursday, August 20, 2020

RugbyPickEmBio - 017 - Jordan "Flash" Gunderson

The OG Florida Man, Jordan "Flash" Gunderson stopped by the new studio (shed) to share his rugby story with the boys. He's lived the American dream, floating from state to state, playing the sport he loves and meeting lifelong friends along the way. 

First off, let's just paint you a picture. Imagine every bit of 6'4, but as lean as you'd expect a long-distance runner to be. Flash made his money in the flankers (poach fiend ... couldn't keep him out of rucks), while also possessing the athletic ability (silky pass) to fill in among the back 3. He'd also occasionally suit up at fly-half, as I'm sure most Americans end up doing once or twice in their early career. If you're the best all-around rugby player on your team, you tend to end up at fly-half (regardless of size and body type).

Head on a Swivel. Ready to make the right Rugby Play #playmaker

His old coach Dave Sellepack once told him:

"You'll never get rich playing this sport, but you'll travel the world and make friends for life."

Also, he has insanely amazing hair. Take a gander ... 

Flashy J-Raps is known for his fend, step, or chicken-wing offload.... and his fiery hair.

Flash has a team and teammate oriented attitude when he takes the field. He's willing to get over rucks and do the grunt work, and just as willing to run the length of the field to support a break away run (and potentially bag meat ;))

He's had a crazy rugby journey. He's only 26 but has already seemed to live multiple lives.

He started in Florida, where Dave Sellepack drove him 40 minutes each way to get to training. He first played under Chris Oosthuzien for the Jupiter Warriors / Palm Beach Panthers. Chris came through the Stellenbosch Rugby Academy, and was instrumental to making Jordan the player that he is today.

After tearing it up in his home state of Florida (made the "Juice" touring side), he landed a rugby scholarship to Wheeling Jesuit. Unfortunately, due to a broken collar bone, Flash never played a game for Wheeling, but learned a ton under his coach Eric Jerpe.

Flash hitch-hiked from Wheeling to Columbus for his next rugby chapter.

He then headed to Columbus Ohio where he played and lived with a collection of talented players who came up through Scioto Valley RFC and Tiger Rugby. 3 of them made Flash's #Top3 ...

Top 3: 

Chris Schade (Ohio Aviator, Austin Gilgronis, current free agent!?) aka Shade O Rade
Joe Tauafete'e (Lyon, World Rugby leading try scorer [Hooker]) aka Big Joe
Perry Baker (USA 7's, changed the game) aka Speed Stick

Flash, his teammates (spot the #Top3), and USA Rugby Hall of Fame coach Steve Finkel

Just Missed:
Shawn Riley (NOLA Gold) aka Flash's dude

Mullet Vibez

After Columbus, Flash spent his next few seasons with Southern Pines R.F.C. (where he met Rugby PickEm's favorite, lovable co-host, Tommy No Piks). He talked about the small town vibe, and how his connections with the club led to his selection for USA South Panthers.

Flash met the Rugby PickEm crew during his days as a Denver Barbarian. Always competing on the field, he also dazzled off the field, pursuing his love of music in a city full of art, culture, and unique perspectives. He said he'll always cherish the time he had with his Denver teammates, and for know, it's just "see ya later", not "Goodbye".

Breaking News 😱:

Flash will be moving to Pittsburgh PA to coach the Pittsburgh Panthers College Rugby team with Allen Hanson and Eric Jerpe. Always doing his best to pass on his experience, Jordan embodies the Rugby PickEm mentality of growing the game. We wish him the best in Pittsburgh!

Kid loves a good off-load

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