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Triton Central's Keyan McKee has been named The Shelbyville News' Wrestler of the Year.
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TC's Keyan McKee makes a move on his Rushville opponent during a match against the Lions this past season.

By KRIS MILLS - kmills@shelbynews.com

FAIRLAND — Keyan McKee wrapped himself in a blanket and started to sweat. Looking back now, it was well worth it.

The Triton Central senior is a competitor. He will do whatever it takes to win, even if that means dropping to another weight class during the season.

Starting the season wrestling at 132 pounds, McKee saw what was ahead of him in the state tournament. Dropping weight to join the 126-pound class, McKee’s move paid dividends at the end of the year.

The quick and agile senior, who did not wrestle his first two years of high school, worked his way to the New Castle Semistate after advancing past sectional and regional competition. He was second overall in his weight class at the Warren Central Sectional and third overall at the Perry Meridian Regional.

For his accomplishments this season, McKee has been named The Shelbyville News’ Wrestler of the Year — not bad for an athlete who ended his junior campaign with an injury.

“I joined a little late my junior year. When it came to the sectional, I won a few matches to move on to the regional," McKee said. "I was wrestling for third or fourth place and got thrown and suffered a neck injury and concussion. I did not get to finish.

“I was hungry (this season). It took a lot of work in the wrestling room. I wanted to go as far as I could.”

McKee, also a standout on the baseball field, said he walked into the first practice weighing 145 pounds.

“I wasn’t in very good shape and wanted to drop down,” McKee said. “I started at 132 and did well, then started to look more into the future (state tournament). The 132-pound weight class is stacked. So I dropped to 126. I could tell a difference in my ability to go the whole match.

“Dropping that much weight, I pretty much just went home and wrapped myself in a blanket and drank a lot of Pedialyte and ate lunch meat."

At New Castle during semistate this season, McKee won his first match over Milan's Shane Lonneman, who was 31-8 entering the match. McKee won the match by pin fall in 1:25 before losing in the second round to Zionsville’s Logan Wagner (33-5), who finished second overall. McKee finished his final wrestling season with a 20-10 record at 126 pounds.

TC head coach Trey Miller said McKee making it to the ticket round at New Castle was an impressive accomplishment.

“Our semistate is very tough,” Miller said. “He won the first match to be a top-32 wrestler in the state. Had he won the second, it would have been top 16.

“He is just a very athletic kid and one of the quickest I’ve seen at Triton Central.”

McKee said he got chills while warming up before his first semistate match.

“Making it to the ticket round this year was just crazy, every seat was full at New Castle,” McKee said. “Making it there meant the world to me. I always wrestled because I thought it was fun. But this year felt amazing. I feel like I achieved my goals.”

Kris Mills is the Sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills37.