July 19, 2014


The 30th annual Cornhusker State Games officially opened Friday with eight year-old Jack Hoffman touching off the caldron as mystery torch lighter and capping off opening ceremonies at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Not quite tall enough to reach the bowl of the caldron, Hoffman got an assist from a pair of National Guard Soldiers who had rappelled from the building’s catwalk moments earlier.

“The purpose of the Opening Ceremonies is to inspire the athletes, and I doubt you get a more inspirational torch lighter than Jack Hoffman,” Games Executive Director Dave Mlnarik said.

The Opening Ceremonies, which began at 7:30 p.m. with the Parade of Athletes, marks the beginning of the largest Cornhusker State Games since 2001, with more than 13,000 competing in 63 different sports, mostly over the next two weekends.

Hoffman, who lives in Atkinson and whose battle with brain cancer led him to befriend former Husker running back Rex Burkhead, gained national fame and worldwide awareness for his cause with a touchdown run in the Huskers’ 2013 spring game.  The video clip of the run went viral and Hoffman won an ESPY, which spawned an outpouring of support for the Team Jack Foundation, formed in Jack’s name to raise money in the fight against pediatric brain cancer.

The stage was set for Hoffman when First Lieutenant Ryan Thompson and Staff Sergeant Chad Morris rappelled 90’ from the rafters, marched to the stage and flanked the caldron.  Hoffman was introduced by a video produced by Husker vision before crossing the arena and joining the soldiers, who lifted him high enough to ignite the Games flame.

Entertainment was provided earlier in the show by the trampoline dunk act known as ACRODUNK, a 2013 finalist on America’s Got Talent and a famous Sioux Falls drum-line known as Su Fu Du.  Several Nebraska mascots made appearances along with DJ Romeo, Miss Nebraska USA Amanda Soltero and members of the Husker men’s and women’s basketball teams, who led the oath of athletes.  The national anthem, sung by statewide contest winner Ether Saure, capped a patriotic segment that included video messages from Nebraska U.S. soldiers.  Emcees included KOLN-KGIN anchors Owen Jensen and Bridget Fargen, and Sports Director Kevin Sjuts, while Joy Patten, General Manager of Three Eagles Communications served as Honorary Chair and made the opening declaration.

 

May 2, 2018- The Nebraska Brass Band has won the 2018 Cornhusker State Games (CSG) National Anthem Contest and will perform the Anthem at the Games’ Opening Ceremonies on Friday, July 20 at Seacrest Field in Lincoln. Read more...

April 25, 2018-The inaugural Nebraska Corporate Games, featuring competition between employees of 13 companies in five sports, begins with bowling Friday night at 6 p.m. at Sun Valley Lanes. Read more...

April 6, 2018 - The Cornhusker State Games Torch Run begins June 1 in Hemingford and will make appearances at 11 community events before lighting the caldron at the Games’ Opening Ceremonies on July 20 at Seacrest Field in Lincoln. Read more...

March 23, 2018 -“This is a great time, especially for coaches and youth team parents, to get organized for the summer. The State Games offer fun, friendly but competitive action in all sports." Read more...

March 15, 2018 -The Nebraska Sports Council has released details of the inaugural Nebraska Corporate Games, featuring competition between employees from Nebraska companies in five events April 27-29 in Lincoln. Read more...