Camp Verde wrestler looking like state title threat

Navajo Times | Ravonelle Yazzie
Camp Verde’s Keene Todacheene stands tall on the podium after placing first in the 106-weight division at the 47th annual Joseph City Invitational Wrestling Tournament on Jan. 6.

JOSEPH CITY, Ariz.

A year ago, Keene Todacheene was trying to make weight at 106 pounds.

Unlike most wrestlers, the then-Camp Verde freshman was not trying to cut weight. Instead, he was trying to add some mass to his 100-pound plus frame.

“He was eating three meals a day and he was eating whatever he wanted,” his dad Lance Todacheene said. “He was always under 106 pounds all the time. By the time sections rolled around he was still at 104 and the other wrestlers were sucking down to 106 and when they got rehydrated they got 10 pounds on him.”

That difference proved to be disadvantageous for Todacheene, especially late in the season when he failed to qualify for the Arizona Division IV state wrestling meet.

Even with a successful 35-5 record heading into last year’s sectional meet, Keene had the daunting task of jarring with some of the best wrestlers in the state. Of the four qualifiers from his region three were state placers.

“I wrestled a lot of kids bigger than me but I felt like I should have made state,” the younger Todacheene said.

At the sectional meet last year, Todacheene lost his semifinal match to Northwest Christian wrestler Tanner Webb in an 8-5 decision. In the consolation bracket he ended his season prematurely when he lost a 6-4 decision to Yuma Catholic’s Miguel Loya, a wrestler he had beaten last year.

“I just wasn’t in my right mind,” he said of losing to Loya.

Fast-forward one year, Todacheene is being considered as a likely challenger at winning a state title at 106. Last Saturday, the Camp Verde sophomore scored a 2-0 takedown win over Webb in the finals of the 47th Annual Joseph City Invitational.

“That was huge because that kid was No. 1 in the state,” Camp Verde coach Tracy Tudor said of Webb. “He’s the best and they had him ranked high. With Keene beating him that tells us a lot. That shows us where Keene is right now. He’s good enough to compete with anybody in our division.”


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Categories: Basketball

About Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at qjodie@navajotimes.com