Triton College wrestler Jose Torres signs at McKendree University
The Triton College wrestling team re-emerged onto the national stage with seven national qualifiers this past season. Leading the surge was sophomore Jose Torres at 125. The Cicero native finished fourth in the nation and became the first Trojan wrestler to place at nationals since 2009. In addition to his success on the mat, Torres excelled in the classroom with a 3.47 GPA. Torres’ accomplishments as a student and athlete paid off as he earned both an athletic and academic scholarship to attend McKendree University in downstate Lebanon this fall.
“Wrestling at the next level is a huge honor and I'm very happy that I get the chance to do so,” Torres said. “No one really recruited me out of high school and I was a state qualifier. Then to be able to get a second chance to wrestle at Triton and achieve something great out of it is fantastic.”
As a freshman during the 2010-11 season, Torres finished a respectable 23-20. But through hard work and dedication and the help of Head Coach Harry McGinnis, he increased his win total to 40 this past season on his way to being named a NJCAA All-American. Torres placed in all 10 tournaments he participated in, including wins at the Art Kraft Memorial, the William Penn Open and the Al Hanke Invitational. He placed second at the Wisconsin Open and the Central District tournament. Torres was also selected as Triton Male Athlete of the Year.
“Coach McGinnis pushed me hard to be the wrestler I am today and I believe he has prepared me to wrestle at the next level,” Torres said.
However, it was Torres’ performance at the national tournament in Rochester, Minn. in March that caught the eye of McKendree Head Coach James Kisqen who was in need of adding depth at the 125 weight class.
“I was really intrigued with Jose after watching him at the national tournament,” Kisqen said. “He showed a lot of guts and character by the way he came back to finish fourth after losing in the semifinals. Seeing him then made me believe he was the type of kid we were looking for. Then once he made the visit, it was quite evident that Jose would be a great fit and an excellent addition to our program.”
Kisqen plans to red-shirt Torres in the upcoming season as McKendree is in the midst of transitioning into being a full-fledged NCAA Division II member in time for the 2013-14 season. The move to hold Torres a year will allow him two full years of wrestling at the NCAA level.
Torres leaves Triton as the first wrestler during McGinnis’ 23-year tenure to reach the 40-win plateau in a single-season and as the 31st All-American he has coached. Still, McGinnis is equally proud of the fact that Torres’ work ethic in the classroom will allow him to graduate Triton in August.
“Jose is the complete package,” McGinnis said. “He exemplifies hard work not only on the mat but in the classroom and I’m proud of the fact that he earned both an academic and athletic scholarship to attend McKendree. Helping our student-athletes get to the next step is what coaching here at Triton is all about.”
Torres plans on earning his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education with the goal of being a wrestling coach. “I want to be a gym teacher and coach wrestling to help students succeed in sports and life like my teachers did with me,” Torres said. “My role model is Coach McGinnis and I want to be just like him!”
For more information on Triton Athletics, contact Athletic Director and Head Wrestling Coach Harry McGinnis at (708) 456-0300, ext. 3784, or visit www.triton.edu/athletics.