Gene's Blog: 50 days until Football fun begins
July 13, 2012
Summer is nearing the halfway point on the calendar. Not only is today Friday the 13th, but it’s also 50 days until the first game of the 2012 Tommie football season.
Here are a few quick notes to help you get in a football frame of mind:
St. Thomas football has won 23 of its last 24 games at Palmer Field in O’Shaughnessy Stadium. After starting 2012 with three of their first four games on the road, the Tommies have four of their last six games at home.
Among the 2012 Tommies’ 72 returning players are expected to be 25 seniors – the most in the program in at least 20 seasons.
Race to 50
With his 43-7 record in his first four seasons, Glenn Caruso in 2012 can join a select group of Division III football coaches to win 50 games in his first five seasons at one school. He already has recorded the sixth most victories of any UST football head coach. He needs 12 wins to move alone into second place, and 14 victories to move into first.
St. John’s John Gagliardi is preparing for his 60th season in Collegeville. His 600th game at SJU comes early in the season, Sept. 15, at Clemens Stadium in the MIAC opener against… St. Thomas.
By the way, if you’re not a fan of seeing the Tommie-Johnnie football rivalry game played so early in the season, here’s some bad news: The next four meetings will be played in September. After this fall's Sept. 15 game in Collegeville, the teams play at O’Shaughnessy Stadium in the conference opener in 2013 on Sept. 21; play at UST again in 2014 in MIAC week two on Sept. 27; and play in Collegeville in week two in 2015 on Sept. 26.
In the 2010 and 2011 MIAC schedule rotation, St. Thomas' bye week was the final Saturday of the regular season. Tommie football will next have its bye in week two in 2012 and 2013 (the week after the Johnnie game), and in week one in 2014 and 2015 (the week before facing St. John's).
St. Thomas scored 72 touchdowns in its school-record 13-1 finish in 2011. The graduating seniors contributed 50 of those TDs, including 49 from RB Colin Tobin, WR-KR Fritz Waldvogel and QB Dakota Tracy.
St. Thomas football has won All-America or Academic All-America honors 39 times in the last 19 seasons, including seven such honors in 2011.
The Tommies have been ranked in the top 10 by D3Football.com for 30 consecutive polls.
St. Thomas football has posted back-to-back 10-0 regular-season records. No conference school has had three consecutive unbeaten and untied football regular seasons in the last 60 years.
When St. Thomas opens the 2012 season Sept. 1 at UW-Eau Claire it will mark the first ever football game between the two schools. The institutions both finished in the top 15 of the Division III Directors Cup last school year. They have played 29 games in softball over the last 17 seasons, and 15 consecutive years in women's soccer. But they haven't met in women's basketball since 1996, or in men's basketball since 1976, and Eau Claire doesn't have baseball or men's soccer.
The 10th-annual 2012 St. Thomas Football Alumni Golf Tournament will be held Monday, July 30 in Stillwater at Indian Hills Golf Club. Click here for online registration link:
St. Thomas football tied for third in the nation last season -- the best showing in program history. St. Thomas also had third-place NCAA team finishes in 2011-12 in women's basketball and baseball.
For those scoring at home, St. Thomas now has a conference-best 47 top-three national team finishes in 14 diferent sports. That includes 14 team championships, 11 NCAA runner-up finishes and 22 third-place showings.
St. Thomas national team championships by sport (14): Women's Cross Country (5); Men's Cross Country (2); Baseball (2); Softball (2); Women's Basketball (1); Men's Basketball (1); Men's Indoor Track & Field (1)
St. Thomas NCAA team runner-up (11): Women's Cross Country (4); Women's Outdoor Track & Field (2); Baseball (2); Men’s Hockey (2); Softball (1)
St. Thomas NCAA team 3rd place (22): Men's Outdoor Track (5); Men's Indoor Track (4); Women's Basketball (4); Women's Outdoor Track (2); Men's Cross Country (2); Baseball (1)Football (1); Women's Soccer (1); Wrestling (1); Women's Indoor Track (1)
Stay tuned for news on another new attraction at O'Shaughnessy Stadium set to debut this fall. More information to come soon.