By Jeff Wald

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – I was very happy to read recently that WCCO Radio and the University of St. Thomas extended their contract for Tommie football for the next two seasons.

St. Thomas is coming off an incredible 2011 season where the Tommies ran the table in an undefeated regular season, winning their second straight MIAC title. The Tommies finished 13-1 and got all the way to the Division III national semifinals before falling to eventual national champion UW-Whitewater.

St. Thomas was nothing short of dominant in a majority of its victories last season, highlighted by a 63-7 thrashing of rival St. John’s. The Tommie/Johnnie rivalry is often thought of as the big brother who always beats up the little brother, and the little guy never wins. Well that tide is changing, and the little brother is growing up and delivering gut punches on a regular basis.

Officials with St. Thomas said more than 74,000 people tuned into that game on the radio.

It will be very interesting to see how the Tommies fare in 2012. Offensive stars Dakota Tracy, Fritz Waldvogel and Colin Tobin are gone. They made the engine go and made plays whenever they were needed.

St. Thomas also dominated on the defensive side of the ball, giving up an average of about 10 points per game. The Tommies also had one of the top rushing defenses in the country, allowing an average of just 56.8 yards per game on the ground.

This year will be largely about new and unfamiliar faces that will have to step up for St. Thomas to continue its run.

St. Thomas will open the regular season on Saturday, Sept. 1, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The Tommies home opener is set for Sept. 8 against UW-River Falls. In a rare occurrence, St. Thomas will open up MIAC play against rival St. John’s in Collegeville on Sept. 15.

WCCO Radio’s Dave Lee, who did the play-by-play last year, will be back for another season. He will be joined by color analyst Eric Nelson.

With that news, I’m happy to say that I plan to have the Tommies Blog on as long as St. Thomas football is on WCCO Radio.

The Tommies Blog provided weekly previews of every St. Thomas game with thoughts from coach Glenn Caruso over the course of the 2011 season. It also provided analysis of every opponent and in-depth coverage of the St. Thomas program.

In four seasons with the Tommies, Caruso has put together an incredible 43-7 mark complete with two MIAC titles and three NCAA playoff appearances.

Look for more coverage of St. Thomas football in the Tommies Blog as we get closer to the fall season.


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