Carson Maneval

By Robert Willams


Frazee High School senior Carson Maneval wanted his final high school Homecoming football game to be a special one. While the game was on the road in Underwood, both Rockets and Frazee players came together to turn a big win for the Hornets into a top news story Friday night.

“It was an idea I had because it’s my senior year so I figured I’d try it and see how it goes,” Maneval said. 

Head coach Russ Hackel and activities director Nick Courneya worked together to get Maneval dressed and ready for action.

“We were willing to make anything work to get him on the field,” Courneya said.

Maneval was in the front row of this year’s pep fest Friday afternoon at the high school, dressed in the football jersey he wore all day.

Being included during one of the biggest football days of the season and a celebration that puts school on hold in the afternoon was the tip of the iceberg Friday.

Maneval said thank you was not enough to say about what his classmates and people of Frazee do for him every day and that was apparent after the pep fest. As he ascended the stairs to exit the gymnasium, multiple hands were ready to bring his walker up to meet him in the school hallway.

During the homecoming parade, he manned his own special spot on the band’s flatbed and waved to elementary students and parade watchers before the team prepared for the bus ride to Underwood.

Friday night was not the first time on the gridiron for Maneval, who spent a year as the team manager helping do film, but it was the first time he was going to experience the game from the sidelines in pads ready to play.

It had been a few years since he was on the sideline, working as team manager four years ago.

“This will be my first football game in a while,” he said.

Maneval was looking forward to just being there with his teammates, but he was holding on to a dream since childhood to play football.

“Just getting the pads on and getting on the field,” he said.

Photo by Robert Williams
Senior Carson Maneval wore No. 38 for the Frazee-Vergas Hornets football team and made a dream come true as he got into the Homecoming game box score scoring a conversion in a 43-0 victory at Underwood Friday, Sept. 30.

His first game appearance came as a member of the team captain group joining teammates Zach Longfors, Danny Graham, Roy Hoehne and Jake Nagel who were out for the pregame coin flip.

As a sign of things to come, the Hornets won the toss and Maneval signaled to the referee that Frazee would receive the ball.

Nearly everything went perfect Friday for the technical home team, as Underwood had allowed the Hornets to host their Homecoming game on the Rockets’ field, while Frazee’s new complex continues to be under construction. 

The Hornets did nearly everything right putting up over 300 yards of total offense, scoring six touchdowns while committing no turnovers.

Maneval and the Hornets were well on their way to a third victory of the season up big after a Jake Nagel touchdown run in the third quarter.

That touchdown presented an opportunity for Maneval to not only get on the field, but also get into the box score and make his dream of getting the ball and into the end zone come true.

Donning No. 38, with the support of teammates Brady Crabtree, Tyler Moe and a handoff from Nagel, Maneval took the ball and scored the Hornets’ two-point conversion.

Players from both teams and the crowd celebrated as Maneval crossed the goal line and his story quickly spread throughout the region.

“It means a lot to me to have this experience to be able to do this with guys I’ve grown up with,” an emotional Maneval told KVLY-TV.