July 20, 2018

CSG Mystery Torchlighter

is Danny Woodhead

Lincoln (July 20, 2018)—Recently-retired NFL running back and North Platte native Danny Woodhead was introduced Friday night as the 2018 Cornhusker State Games Mystery Torchlighter.
Woodhead, who played in the State Games as a youth and starred in football at Chadron State College, made a lap around Seacrest Field before igniting the CSG caldron.  The caldron-lighting was the climax of Opening Ceremonies for the 34th annual multi-sport festival.  More than 10,300 athletes of all ages and abilities are registered to compete, mostly over the next two weekends.
In the Games’ longstanding tradition of honoring a prominent Nebraska athlete with the Torchligher role, Woodhead was the perfect choice according to Games Executive Director Dave Mlnarik.
“It’s hard to think of a better combination of electrifying athletic talent, work ethic, determination, courage and name recognition than Danny.  He’s an inspiring athlete, which is what we look for, and the fact that he played in the Games makes him relatable, too,” Mlnarik said.
At North Platte High School, Woodhead was a four-year letter winner in four sports.  In football, he led the Bulldogs to their first undefeated season (2003) in 40 years and set the Class A all-time career rushing record with 4,891 yards from 2000-2003. He also set the school track and field record in the 100M dash at 10.5 seconds, and was a standout in both soccer and basketball.
At Chadron State, Woodhead became a football sensation, winning the Harlon Hill Trophy as the Division II Most Outstanding Football Player in 2006 and 2007.  He amassed 7,962 career rushing yards, averaging 190 yards per game, an all-division college record at the time (2007). He had 19 200-yard and 37 100-yard rushing games, and scored in 38 consecutive games, all Division II records at the time.
In 2008, he signed as an undrafted free agent with the New York Jets where he suffered a season-ending injury in training camp. He started the 2009 season on the practice squad, but was signed to the active roster and played his first game on Oct. 25. He spent the 2010-2012 seasons with the New England Patriots where he became a productive rusher/receiver with 2,181 total yards over three seasons.
He had his most productive NFL season with the San Diego Chargers in 2013 with 605 receiving and 429 rushing yards.  After three seasons with the Chargers, he signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2017. He was released and subsequently retired from football in March of this year after nine NFL seasons.
Woodhead’s caldron-lighting highlighted an Opening Ceremonies program that included the parade of athletes, skydivers, national anthem by the Nebraska Brass Band, an exhibition by the NoWear BMX Stunt Team and a fireworks finale.  This weekend is the Games’ busiest competition weekend with 41 sports taking place Saturday and 22 Sunday. 
More information, including Opening Ceremonies details and competition schedules, can be found at CornhuskerStateGames.com.
Note to Editors: Please hold for release until after 9 p.m. today.  Search participants sport, city and county HERE.  Search medal winners HERE.


October 26, 2018- The Nebraska Sports Council (NSC) Board of Directors has elected Rob Trebilcock as its 16th President.  Trebilcock, Senior Community Affairs Officer at Bank of the West, succeeds Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Jeff Maul. Read more...
September 24, 2018- The 17th annual Pumpkin Run, a one-mile fun run for youth runners, is set for  Saturday, Oct. 6 at Seacrest Park in Lincoln. More than 50 schools are expected to be represented in what is believed to be the largest youth-only cross-country run in the nation. Read more...

September 18, 2018- Maycee Peacher, a 10 year-old female wrestler from Omaha who racked up nine gold medals and one silver medal, has been named the 2018 Cornhusker State Games (CSG) and National Congress of State Games (NCSG) Youth Female Athlete of the Year. Read more...

July 25, 2018- The final weekend of competition in the 2018 Cornhusker State Games (CSG) features competition in 28 sports. Youth tennis matches begin Wednesday, July 25 at Woods Tennis Center in Lincoln.  Read more...

July 20, 2018- Recently-retired NFL running back and North Platte native Danny Woodhead was introduced Friday night as the 2018 Cornhusker State Games Mystery Torchlighter. Read more...