By Charly Frisk
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The University of St. Thomas beat St. John’s University’s football team 20-17 this past Saturday, Sept. 23. While the Tommies wore purple and the Johnnies wore red, all attendees in the stands no matter what team, appeared to have notes of red facial hues as a result of hot temperatures exceeding 84 degrees paired with 64 percent humidity.

Just as the hot, summery weather still holds a tight grip on lower half of Minnesota, the traditional importance of the Johnnie/Tommie game held strong and true for both members of the crowd and members of the football team of St. John’s this past Saturday.

Though it was first-year Emma Culhane’s first time watching the Johnnie/Tommie game, from looking around the stadium, it was visible that some of the alumni have been coming to the games for years.

PHOTOS BY ALEX RUDELIUS • [email protected]
For the first time at Target Field, excited CSB/SJU students cheer on the Johnnies as the DIII attendance record was more than doubled.

“I thought the game was super fun,” Culhane said. “I really enjoyed seeing the St. John’s community come together from past to present. I think one of the reasons why the attendance was so high because of the community that they have built over the years.”

First-year wide receiver Keenon Mills, reminisced on what the game meant for him as a new member of the team.

“It meant that I was a part of a great rivalry and tradition,” Mills said. “It meant I was able to go to battle with my brothers on a very big stage in front of an
enormous crowd.”

Some CSB/SJU students, like sophomore Logan Schmidt, had friends on the opposing team.

“We love to be competitive with each other and honestly feel a bit of hatred towards one another during the game… having fun with the rivalry between St. John’s and St. Thomas by getting a little heated with my Tommie friends is just part of the experience,” Schmidt said via Snapchat.

Though the infamous rivalry remained a constant for this past game, both schools experienced a new set of firsts. Not only did the two schools christen Target Field with its first football game, but the game now the holds the record for the highest attendance in DIII football history.

While sophomore Peter Lenz appreciated the allure of playing at such a large field, he believes that the infamous Johnnie/Tommie game should be kept closer to home next time.

“I think the importance of playing at Target Field in front of such a large attendance was to show the kind of love the rivalry game between the Johnnies and Tommies gets from fans. Other than that I think that the game should stay at the school campuses in the future in order to keep tradition and everything else that comes with games on campus,” said Lenz via Snapchat.

While playing at Target Field may have been fun for students, it is not likely to happen again. In an earlier email sent out to the community by Vice President of Student Development Dough Mullin expressed his desire for the Johnnie/Tommie game to be held at SJU.

“We have no desire whatsoever to ever host the Johnnie-Tommie game at Target Field or at any off-campus venue,” Mullin said in his email. “We will host the 2018 Johnnie-Tommie game at Clemens Stadium, and we have already began planning for that Oct. 13 game.”