COLLEGEVILLE -- The St. John's University football team is heading to the national semifinals this weekend. The Johnnies will play Wisconsin-Whitewater at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.

St. John's spokesman Michael Hemmesch says, with Whitewater being in southern Wisconsin, he's expecting a big crowd of fans at the game.

We have a lot of alumni and fans in the Chicago area, they turned out last Saturday at Wheaton, and we expect a lot of those fans to be coming up to Whitewater.  And then many of the parents and fans from the Twin Cities and central Minnesota it's not that bad of a drive.

Hemmesch says, after three post-season wins already, there is a lot of excitement in Collegeville.

With more than 190 guys on the team almost everyone on campus knows someone associated with the football team, and obviously with our greate fan following from our students and employees, and also the local community, and our alumni this is really an exciting time.

If you can't make it to the game, Partner's Pub in Sartell is planning to host a watch party. It is also being broadcast on ESPN 3.

Both St. John's and Whitewater have 12-1 records.

Richard Carriveau of Sauk Rapids, photo by Libby Auger

The team will leave for Whitewater Thursday afternoon and they'll practice there Friday.

The other Division III semifinal game starts at 11:00 a.m. Saturday with Muhlenberg playing North Central, Illinois.

This is the first time the Johnnies have been to the Division III national semifinals since 2003. It is the 12th time the Johnnies have been in the national semifinals, the 10th at the Division III level.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app