Class By Himself
JCC’s Torres Recipient Of National Award
CLEVELAND — Jamestown Community College wrestling coach Kris Schimek doesn’t have to look far to find the name of someone who he describes as the “epitome” of a student-athlete.
All he has to do is look pull out his alphabetized roster and scroll down to the next-to-last name.
“Dan Torres deserves everything he’s earned and he’s just getting started,” Schimek said. “This is the most responsible young adult I have ever met, and he will keep being successful with whatever he does in life.”
The National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators agrees.
The NATYCAA announced Tuesday that Torres is the recipient of its Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. According to a press release, NATYCAA traditionally recognizes the Scholar-Athletes of the Year, sponsored by Relation Insurance Services, during its annual convention, but this year’s event has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, NATYCAA will provide additional coverage of Torres during what would have been Convention Week, June 7-10.
Torres, a Cassadaga native, dismantled the competition during his sophomore season in 2019-20, compiling a record of 42-7 — a new school record for wins –as well as first-place trophies at the Brockport Open, Waynesburg Invitational and JCC Open.
Torres also finished second at the national tournament in the 174-pound weight class and earned second-team NJCAA All-America honors.
But Torres’ talents transcend wrestling. A model student, he compiled a 4.0 GPA in criminal justice and has earned numerous academic accolades, including the 2019 NYS Chancellor Scholar in wrestling, awarded to the top student-athlete in all of SUNY and CUNY. Despite a demanding schedule, Torres finds opportunities to give back to his community, particularly with area youth wrestling and Kallie’s Crusade-affiliated events. Though he has sights on entering the police academy, his next stop will be the University at Buffalo, where he signed a national letter of intent to wrestle for the Bulls.
“I’ve had a lot of different things that pushed me to strive to perfection, and one of the main things is wrestling itself,” Torres said. “Just the amount of work you have to put in and in order to be a good wrestler you have to strive to perfection. That has really carrie over to the classroom, for work and every aspect of my life. I believe it will carry with my all the way to UB. … I think anything you do in life, you have to put in 100 percent effort in what you want to do.”
Jamestown CC athletic director George Sisson has seen Torres’ drive for the last two years.
“Dan is a tremendously balanced young man. In his two years at Jamestown Community College, he has shown consistent discipline throughout all of his commitments,” Sisson said. “He is an honors student with a perfect GPA, All-American athlete and an outstanding young man. His strength is his ability to stay focused on his desired goals and objectives, but well-rounded enough to be a man of character and a leader of his peers. We could not be more proud of Dan for the example he has set for our future Jayhawk student-athletes.”
Sisson noted that Torres’ honor puts Jamestown CC on the map.
“Now think about the number of people who hear about JCC nationwide,” he said. ” … We are very blessed to have local student-athletes maximize their experience.”
Torres was previously named to NATYCAA’s Scholar-Athlete Team as the male representative for District 1.
“While the (NATYCAA national award) is an honor, I didn’t get there by myself,” he said. “I’d just like to take a minute to thank my family, friends, all my teachers and coaches from past and present, and my community for helping me get to where I am.”
Chipola (Fla.) College’s Amy Woodham was named the other NATYCAA recipient.
“The NATYCAA Scholar-Athlete Awards are presented to student-athletes who have demonstrated their academic, athletics and leadership abilities while also serving their community,” said Michelle Ruble, NATYCAA President and Executive Director of Student Life and Athletics at The College of Southern Maryland in a press release. “This national award is presented to a male and female selected from the nine NATYCAA District winners. All nominees have achieved excellence at the highest level and have volunteered their time to improve the lives of others. This year’s recipients, Dan Torres and Amy Woodham, have achieved this and represented their institutions with distinction. Congratulations to Dan and Amy, and to all the district winners who earned their place on NATYCAA’s Scholar-Athlete team.”