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Jose "Shorty" Torres had low grades throughout his high school career and didn't consider his self to be a great wrestler but loved the sport. With no scholarship prospects and financial issues, attending a four-year university wasn't an option for the Cicero native, but he did envision his self in college. Upon discovering Triton College, he would also discover a second chance at life.
While pursuing an associate's degree at Triton, Torres joined the wrestling team, where he found success - winning national titles, placing fourth in the nation with the most wins in a season, receiving All-American honors and awards for MVP and men's athlete of the year at Triton - and developed a support system of teammates, friends and coaches.
"I sometimes wanted to quit wrestling because my family didn't support me," he said. "But because of the guidance and support of my coach Harry McGinnis, I continued to wrestle and succeeded. He never quit on me. He was the reason for my success in wrestling and even the books."
Torres also thrived in the classroom, graduating from Triton with a 3.5 GPA and listed numerous times on the Dean's List. His success led to receiving an athletic and academic scholarship to McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill., to pursue his bachelor's degree - a task he is very proud of, maybe even moreso than his wrestling feats. Today, he also runs his own mixed martial arts gym.
"If you can push yourself through all the hard work, pain and agony to achieve what you want to achieve, then the outcome is your pride and success," Torres said.
Read more about Jose "Shorty" Torres on the Triton College Alumni webpage.