Norm Manstedt

High Plains wrestling coach Norm Manstedt bids farewell to the crowd at the state tournament after being recognized for retiring after a 50-year coaching career. Friday it was announced that Manstedt would serve as the grand marshal of the parade at the Nebraska State Games opening ceremony.

Nebraska Sports Council officials announced Friday that wrestling coach Norm Manstedt, who retired this year after a 50-year head coaching career at Clarks and later, High Plains High School, has been named the Honorary Marshal of the Cornhusker State Games Opening Ceremonies Parade of Athletes.

The Opening Ceremonies will take place at 8 p.m. on July 19 at Seacrest Field in Lincoln. Manstedt will lead athletes onto the field to kick off a celebration including skydivers, fireworks, trampoline acrobatics, a patriotic tribute and the lighting of the cauldron by a mystery athlete.

Manstedt made his retirement official at the 2019 Nebraska State High School State Tournament in February where he was recognized with a standing ovation from the crowd on championship Saturday. Over his 50-year career, Manstedt coached 205 state qualifiers, 55 state finalists, 34 state champions and 61 state medalists despite never wrestling before taking over coaching duties at Clarks High School.

Manstedt was also recently named Nebraska Wrestling Coach of the Year and Section V Coach of the Year for the National Wrestling Coaches Association. 

More than 5,500 athletes are already registered for the Games, most of which take place July 19-28.

Top sports so far include shooting sports—436, soccer—386, volleyball—358, basketball—337, ice hockey—320, track and field—319 and softball—311. 

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