At the conclusion of every academic year, athletics departments throughout the State University of New York system recognize the academic and athletic pursuits of their student-athletes with the SUNY Chancellor's Scholar-Athlete Award.
John Graham, associate provost for student affairs for SUNY, stated the recognition is "the highest award given to an athlete in the State University of New York." The award gives special recognition to a SUNY student who best meets the criteria and who has demonstrated a noteworthy level of commitment to their education and athletic career.
To be considered for the award, a student-athlete must first receive a nomination from the institution's athletic director. The student-athlete's credentials and athletic fulfillments are analyzed by a panel of athletic directors from across the entire SUNY system to determine the most viable candidate for each sport.
The SUNY system features more than 85 Division I teams, 290 Division III NCAA teams, and 385 participating NJCAA teams with several hundred intramural and club sports as well. Overall, the SUNY system provides student-athletes a chance to compete in a wide variety of platforms whether in club or intramural teams or in highly touted NCAA, NJCAA, NAIA or USCAA teams.
Jamestown Community College student Dan Torres was awarded the 2019 SUNY Chancellor's Scholar-Athlete Award for wrestling. George Sisson, JCC's athletic director, nominated Torres for the award, noting, "It is a tremendous accomplishment to receive this award, highlighting not only his athletic, but academic, skill set as well." Torres is a former Cassadaga Valley Central School wrestling standout and is a first year criminal justice major at JCC."It's nice to see that the hard work is starting to pay off and that extra time studying and practicing was worth it," Torres said. Torres admits that balancing the workload and commitments of a student-athlete can be challenging. He attributes his time management skills as a key factor in overcoming the obstacles posed by being a student-athlete.
During his first year as a member of the JCC wrestling team, Torres compiled an impressive resume. He finished fourth at the New York State championship and was a finalist at the Niagara County Community College Open and the JCC Open.
Torres was also named the Most Outstanding Wrestler in NJCAA Region III and was a national qualifier, finishing the season with over 25 wins. Torres also attained a 4.0 grade point average and was named to the JCC dean's list and NJCAA Region III First Team Academic All-American team.
"Our team as a whole is recognized more or less as what we do as individuals," said JCC wrestling coach Kris Schimek. "Not often do you come across a true all-around leader that comes into the flux of any sport whether that be at high school, collegiate, or the professional level. Dan has done a great job of being that on and off the mat."
Despite the challenges in maintaining a high academic standard while upholding the rigorous demands of a grueling practice schedule and season, Torres proved to be an athlete with the fortitude to endure hardships and thrive as well. Torres has proven to be an exceptional talent in both fields and has gone beyond what is required of him to achieve the success that he so rightfully deserves.
We congratulate Torres for taking advantage of his educational and athletic opportunities as a Jayhawk student-athlete and thank him for using his talents to help represent Jamestown Community College in the best possible manner. Torres looks to return to JCC to complete his associate's degree and build upon a great freshman campaign with JCC wrestling.
Picture: (Assistant A.D. Ashley Lund), (Head Coach Kris Schimek), (Dan Torres) and (A.D. George Sisson).