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‘Rowdiest’ Tommie-Johnnie crowd in 27 years, police say

By , Production Editor  |  Saturday, September 15, 2012 8:10 PM

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. — Saturday’s 43-21 St. Thomas victory over St. John’s was a perfect Saturday for the annual football rivalry, but law enforcement officials said drunken behavior clouded the day.

Stearns County Sgt. Joe Lichy said that in the 27 years he has worked the Tommie-Johnnie game, this was the rowdiest.

“It’s never been this bad,” Lichy said. “Before the game, a dad had to pick up a St. Thomas female. She blew a 0.35 (on a breathalyzer) and was asked to leave.”

Lichy said that before halftime, they had ticketed seven or eight minors for illegal alcohol, most of them to Tommies. Four more were ticketed at halftime.

“Of the four given at halftime, two went to the hospital,” Lichy said. “We are sending them to the hospital now because detox is full.”

St. Thomas senior Nick Larson said he saw the police in action early in the game, at a scuffle.

“He (a police officer) grabbed her in her upper arm and escorted her out,” Larson said. “There was a Tommie-Johnnie fight at the bottom the stairs.”

Even though a lot of liquid was consumed before the game, much food was eaten once fans arrived. Concession Manager Jeff Mathiasen was prepared for the 14,287 fans who came to Clemens Field Saturday.

“I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years,” Mathiasen said. “I looked back two years ago when I sold. I ordered what I went through that year.”

He expected to sell a few thousand hamburgers and brats, about 2,500 hot dogs and 300 pounds of popcorn.

Mathiasen said he sold all of it except some popcorn.

Barb Platten, a long-time Johnnie fan who attended the game with her 93-year-old mother-in-law, said that she looked forward to the food.

“You have to get a Johnnie hot dog and a Johnnie hamburger with ketchup with onions,”

Platten said.

Many Johnnie students said they ate a big pregame meal.

“I ate breakfast, two hot dogs and some French fries, with some Gatorade,” St. John’s sophomore Brennan Hall said. “We played some darts with a picture of Tommie on the dart hole this morning to to prepare.”

As for school spirit, students on both sides showed their school pride.

“I’m a dinosaur because it represents the fierce competition that is St. Thomas,” St. Thomas senior Abe Jungbauer said. “We are going to tear them apart like a T-Rex tears apart a smaller dinosaur. If a Johnnie comes over here, I’ll probably growl at them.”

Junior Joe Wistrcill decided that body paint was the best way to show his excitement for the game.

“I’m getting my face painted, because my chest is already painted,” Wistrcill said. “I want to be as supportive of my team as possible and get really hyped for the Tommies.”

The Johnnies brought creative spirit too. St. Ben’s senior Beth Grega brought some music to the student section.

“I put on my fake eyelashes, and I brought my boom box because everyone needs to be entertained,” Grega said. “I always put on the face paint.”

Former Tommie quarterback Dakota Tracy said it felt good to be back in the atmosphere he experienced as a player last year.

“I’m excited to watch the guys,” Tracy said. “I miss the game and Saturdays like this.”

Senior Sephen Durked, a member of Caruso’s Crew, said that the atmosphere, the team and coach Caruso make cheering worth it.

“Caruso never wants to make it about him. It’s about the whole team and the guys he is leading,” Durked said. “That’s typical of coach Caruso, he’s a good man and he wants to show how good and hard his guys worked.”

Hannah Anderson can be reached at ande5385@stthomas.edu.

This item was posted in Football, Sports, Tommie-Johnnie and has 7 comments so far.

7 Comments

  1. John Bruggeman
    Sep. 16, 2012 10:24 AM

    As someone who has been to many of these games over the years, this one represented a low point in several respects.  In some ways it seemed like a Friday night high school game where hundreds of students are milling around, not even watching the game.

    1st of all no corner bleachers for the STU students like two years ago.  Resulted in Tommies taking over 1 section of the SJU student seating and a large crowd of Tommies standing 20-30 deep in NE corner.

    Game early in the season in hot weather.  Inadequate water availability.  Booze and dehydration.

    Continued uses of party buses to deliver already drunk people to the game.

    Otherwise, typically fun atmosphere.  Just hope it’s not getting to the point where the negatives will outweigh the positives.  And, hopefully we got through another year without anyone getting killed driving home drunk.

  2. Dick Houck, ’51
    Sep. 16, 2012 10:33 AM

    Two Catholic schools, and with a police report like this? What kind of a message is that?

  3. Charlie Luckie
    Sep. 16, 2012 10:46 AM

    Thanks for throwing your school under the bus and how is selling 2500 hotdogs relevent to having a rowdy crowd?

  4. Ben Watson
    Sep. 16, 2012 11:54 AM

    Great article Hannah, Go Tommies!

  5. Ryan Shaver
    Sep. 17, 2012 5:54 PM

    I agree….I clicked on this to ready about the “rowdy” crowd…and then read about food…..Pretty misleading title.

  6. Brett Leverson
    Sep. 17, 2012 8:59 PM

    I personally believe the game 27 years ago was way more rowdier, but that was when I was in the prime of my youth so its really hard to get an accurate judgement on it. On the plus side of it all, life goes on and I am here for any of those young college students that need substance abuse/alcohol counseling.

  7. Trevor Johnston
    Sep. 23, 2012 1:17 PM

    It’s interesting how as both universities are getting tougher on parties and underage drinking, the student bodies are getting even rowdier and seemingly abusing alcohol even more.

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