JOSE TORRES-LUNA OF TEXAS LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY, a senior men’s soccer player from Waco, Texas, has been selected as the SCAC Character & Community Male Student-Athlete of the Week for the week beginning November 4.
The SCAC Character & Community award honors the efforts of student-athletes who excel in the field of athletics, and also serve their campus and community.
A mathematics education major, Torres-Luna will graduate from TLU in May 2020. He will finish his college education by going into the classroom next spring at Seguin High School as a student teacher.
Torres-Luna is a three-year member of the TLU Men’s Soccer program, and he has been heavily involved in the Bulldogs’ community service projects, particularly with those coordinated with Seguin’s Oralia R. Rodriguez Elementary School. The school neighbors the Texas Lutheran University campus, and TLU’s soccer field, Gustafson Field, is the closest TLU property to the Rodriguez campus.
“We always happen to be involved with Rodriguez Elementary, some way, some how,” said Torres-Luna. “Whether it be in May when we are leading a soccer camp or in the months before when we are actually going into the classrooms and helping out the teachers with the students that may want some extra help, we are there for them.”
“Whether it be reading, math, writing, whatever, we are mentors there. It is a great program. It really is.”
The mentoring and tutoring at Rodriguez Elementary have given Torres-Luna new perspectives.
“I’ve learned that everybody is different, and everybody’s experiences are different,” said Torres-Luna. “Everybody learns differently. In our position, we are there to aid the students. When we do that we give them a goal, I guess, when they see us. When they see us, they see people who have done it. Especially to a kid seeing an athlete at a really high level, like the collegiate level, they are inspired.”
“We use that to hammer home the idea that doing your homework and listening to your teachers and all those good things at that age are very important.”
Torres-Luna Jr. has played in one career match with the Bulldogs. He’s battled injuries throughout his career, but those injuries and his limited playing experiences haven’t slowed his dedication to the men’s soccer program and to the community service initiatives of the team.
“Since joining the program in 2017, Jose has brought a genuine approach to our locker room,” said Eddie Salazar, TLU’s head men’s soccer coach. “He sees the bigger picture in everything he does which allows him to give to everyone around him. He is a member of TLU's Black and Gold Council and is active in the community and education system here in Seguin. He is the perfect representative for TLU and our men's soccer program.”
“My biggest admiration I have for Jose has everything to do with his character as a young man. Jose never makes it about him or his feelings. He plugs in to the mission of the group and is consistent with his actions to the bigger picture. He has been raised to be a good person.”
After Torres-Luna finishes his student-teaching experience at Seguin High School, he plans to enter the teaching profession.
“I have a lot of respect for people in schools and what they do,” said Torres-Luna. “I thought I could best help future generations by replicating what I have learned
and what I have seen.”