A fierce competitor, Simon Sanchez’s Jade Torre was a force to be reckoned with regardless of the sport she played.
Known more for power, speed and athleticism, the 2020 graduate earned her way onto the team rotations for each sport she played. Embracing the grind, Torre didn’t miss a beat, relishing the hard work it took to become an integral component in her team’s game scheme.
“I’ve worked hard physically and mentally to be able to be good at it. I’ve always been a team player, showing up to every practice we had – early morning practices and even some late-night practices too,” said the 18-year-old, who will be attending Guam Community College to major in criminal justice.
On the pitch
On the soccer field, Torre was noticeable, weaving through her opponents and communicating with her team. Calling her a leader who exemplified the values of sportsmanship, her soccer coach, Ron Canos, said he was "spoiled, lucky and altogether blessed" to have coached Torre.
“Her trajectory as freshman to a senior increasingly grew year after year. She was one of very few freshmen to make the All-Island First Team and continued to be an All-Star throughout her high school career,” Canos said. “She played at a high level and, oftentimes, did it while she was injured. More importantly, she was an encouraging teammate on and off the field. She made my job easier because she was another voice of leadership and performance.”
Canos commended her work ethic and humility, something Torre said she works hard to convey in every practice.
“She was humble and independent. She was strong but worked diligently on areas of improvement. She was proud of victories but also consoled others in defeat. She played with intensity but held sportsmanship at such a high regard,” he said.
“I consider myself spoiled, lucky, and altogether blessed to have had an opportunity to work with such a fine person. Kudos to her family and support circle who have encouraged and instilled positive values in such a lovely young lady,” Canos said, adding “I am positive her success will continue to grow in the years to come. Her trajectory has always been forward and upward.”
In the Shark Pit, Torre was a force, relying on strength over finesse, often carrying her team’s scoring load, even if it meant powering through four defenders herself to get to the basket. A vocal leader, Torre was the floor general, running point for her team’s offense and directing the action on defense.
She earned several individual accolades, including honorable mention and All Island Second Team her freshman through junior years in the various sports she played.
"My favorite sport is basketball. The games start off with roaring crowds and that’s how it ends,” she said. Driven by the crowd, Torre said she loves the challenge of facing rivals or defending champions, feeding off the adrenaline and hype when things go her team’s way.
“It just makes the game very competitive, because any game, no matter the team’s level, could be a winning game,” she said.
“Tenacious, fierce, just a flat-out competitor … What more could you ask for?” Sanchez basketball coach Arvin Domingo said regarding what Torre brought to the Sharks game plan. “I’ve had the pleasure of coaching Jade for two years before entering her senior year. She brought that fire unlike any other player I’ve coached.”
Her ferocity made her taller than she truly was, he said.
“Not the tallest player on the court but played with the biggest heart,” he said, adding Torre was “a leader both on and off the court.”
A major setback; a comeback in the works
Playing sports was all about the experiences she gained, Torre said, adding “there are a lot of things I love about sports – the adrenaline, the competitiveness and just the friendships you make with other teams.”
Her senior year loomed large and Torre was stoked, finally hitting a groove in her hoops game that made her a nightmare for other teams to guard.
Domingo talks about her impact and growth the summer before her senior year.
"I remember talking to her and she expressed that this was going to be a good year with it being her last one," he said. "I was excited for her. I felt she would make All-Island and that she would help bring her team deep into the playoffs."
Then, an injury struck, ending her senior season before it had even truly begun.
“I suffered an injury every athlete fears – a torn ACL,” Torre said. “It really set me back with all my plans and goals for sports for my senior year.”
"My heart broke for her. I remember seeing her after her doctor’s appointment, that was tough," Domingo said. "Because I can see how much she wanted to be out there with her teammates."
But, resiliency has always been a key character trait for the Yigo resident. Off the field of competition, Torre focused on being her team’s cheerleader and motivating them from the sidelines. In the meantime, she focused on healing her body because a whole new life was waiting beyond the gates of Sanchez.
“That didn’t break her spirit. She was already talking about what she could possibly be doing months after her surgery, and that she couldn’t wait to get back to running so she could play all the sports she loved,” Domingo said. "I’ll never forget the amount of grit and desire she played with. I hope to see her in the future whether it be on the pitch or the volleyball or basketball court.”
Torre said it was tough, but she's never been one to dwell on the negative, instead choosing to find solutions so she could move on.
"It was very hard to cope with, but with every setback is always a major comeback,” she said. “That’s what’s I always tell myself.”
Focusing on physical therapy and keying in on getting healthy, she said, “I am now training harder to do what I love to do. I think, with my injury, it made me feel that even with it, I can still do all things and that’s what made me stronger.”
A clear focus on academics, being a better person
“What I find most impressive and endearing about her is that she doesn't define nor confine herself to the success she has on the field,” said Canos, her soccer coach, listing her contributions through school and community projects. “She is a high-achieving student, she is involved in extracurricular activities and initiatives around the school, she participates in career-based programs, she volunteers, and she's a role model for others through her kindness and generosity.”
In the academic arena, Torre was a straight-A student, a member of the National Technical Honor Society. Competing on her school’s volleyball, soccer and basketball teams meant late nights practicing and competing, she said, but her school work couldn’t suffer.
Admitting that balancing academics and athletics can be a challenge, Torre said, “Academics always comes first. I’m always tired after practices when I get home, but … in order to keep playing, I need to keep my grades up and … that’s what pushed me to keep going and doing good with school.”
Fresh out of high school, she was asked if she plans to compete at a higher level, Torre said if the opportunity presented itself, she would. But, working out and staying healthy are her top priorities as she eyes her future in criminal justice.
“My dream career is a criminologist or a private investigator,” she said. “I’ve always loved watching ‘Criminal Minds’ or ‘The First 48’ when I was young and I’ve always wanted to be one of them.”
Recognizing it’s a long road, she said she’s been doing the research to see what it’ll take to find success in that field.
“I thinks it draws me because I love psychology and reading more into the job, I think working as a forensic psychologist and studying a criminal and their mindset is really interesting,” she said. “Protecting people and helping those in need is something I look forward to pursuing within my major.”
Looking back, Torre said, there are many people to credit for her success and her achievements – athletically and academically.
“There are no words I can say to say how much I thank my coaches throughout the years,” she said. “They’ve sacrificed a lot – their time with family, having to leave right after their job just to come to practice. Just always being there – not just as coaches, but as a role model to us players.”
Her parents were the reason she was unafraid to push boundaries and strive for the best in everything she did, she said.
“I’d also like to thank my parents for all the love and support throughout the years of playing sports. Always having to put in money for uniforms, shoes, and off-island trips is not easy but my parents made it happen,” she said. “Without them and their screaming on the sidelines, I wouldn’t have been the player I am today.”
Q: What’s something you’ve learned about yourself as an athlete?
A: Something I’ve learned about myself while competing is taking risks. I love the quote “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take." So I’ve always learned that you’ll never get to where you’re going to go or even to win a game without taking risks, whether it’s playing a game without your best player.
Q: A quote you live your life by?
A: A quote I’ve always kept with me is “The road to easy street goes through sewer” by John Madden. It really coincides with everything I do with sports. Like I said, I never knew how to play basketball or volleyball, but as progress went by, I can say that my expectations were so much higher than I expected. I never thought a sport I never knew how to play would be my favorite.
Q: Any advice to incoming freshmen?
A: My advice to incoming freshman is to keep up with your grades because you can be the best player there, but without the grades, you’re really nothing.
Q: What would you want your underclassmen to have picked up from you?
A: Something I think the underclassmen picked up from me is good mentality. As a captain, I’ve always let my teammates know to always be a good sport, never let any player get through your head because it’ll affect you throughout the game. You won’t play at your best, so I always tell my teammates to shake it off and move on.
Q: If you could go for a run with anyone in the world, who would you go with?
A: I would go for a run with the famous volleyball player Karch Kiraly. I always watched women’s and men’s volleyball games when I was younger, and I’ve always loved watching him.