Thousands of Football Fans Ready to Converge on Collegeville
COLLEGEVILLE -- This is the big weekend for the annual Johnnie-Tommie football game. This year St. Thomas is traveling to Collegeville.
St. John's University spokesman Michael Hemmesch says they are expecting the usual big crowd at Clemens Stadium.
Traditionally the games in Collegeville bring between 12,000 and 17,000 people. St. John's routinely leads the NCAA Division III football in attendance, so we're used to handling large crowds for all of our games, but certainly, the Johnnie-Tommie game expands that even more.
This will also be the first game for the Johnnies since the passing of legendary coach John Gagliardi. Hemmesch says they will be doing a few special things to honor him at the game.
There will be a moment of silence before the game, and the game program will have a couple pages of remembrance for John. John has always had a couple of pages in our program even after he retired in 2012, but we changed out some of the pages in our program as well.
John Gagliardi coached the Johnnies for 60 seasons.
Saturday's game is the 88th meeting between the two schools. The Johnnies lead the series 51-25-1 all-time. However, St. Thomas has won the last four meetings.
Last year's game at Target Field in Minneapolis drew over 37,000 fans.
Both teams go into the game with undefeated 5-0 records and are ranked #3 (St. Thomas) and #7 (St. John's) nationally.
Saturday is also St. John's annual Tackle Cancer game. The Johnnies have already raised over $8,000 this fall.
The NCAA Minneapolis Final Four Committee is also bringing their "Fan Jam" to Collegeville prior to the game.