It was a star-studded night at the Holiday Inn Express Thursday when Nebraska Cornhusker coaches and Larry the Cable Guy gathered in support of the Gridiron Golf Classic tournament.

Thursday marked the opening banquet for the event, in which those associated with the Cornhusker football program played a game of golf with those who signed up.

The banquet was emceed by Larry the Cable Guy, whose real name is Daniel Whitney, a native of Pawnee City.

Whitney entertained a packed house when he helped auction several items to start the program, including a lease on a Mercedes-Benz.

He said it was an honor to be performing in his home area in southeast Nebraska.

“It’s awesome, are you kidding me?” Whitney said. “This is the greatest state on the planet, no doubt.”

Whitney, who found success as a standup comedian and stars in the History Channel’s reality show “Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy,” entertained the audience with his standup comedy at the banquet.

Also present at the event was Cornhusker football head coach Bo Pelini, who met with fans before the program began.

The golf game is scheduled for Friday at the Beatrice Country Club.

All 32 teams for the golf tournament, which feature five players, one of which is a special guest, were filled within five days of becoming available.

This marked the first year the Gridiron Classic has been held in Beatrice.

Reach Scott Koperski at scott.koperski@beatricedailysun.com. Follow him on Twitter @ScottKoperski.

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