Tommie-Johnnie rivalry brings schools together for good cause

Updated: October 19, 2019 10:40 PM

The decades long rivalry between the University of St. Thomas and St. John's University took center stage in St. Paul.

Before the big game Saturday, the two schools came together for a good cause as they took part in the You Matter Challenge.


As fast as they could, fans of the teams filled snack packs of healthy food. They will benefit people impacted by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Here at home, they will help The Sanneh Foundation.

"It's one of the best comraderies in the country, and we are looking forward to today," said Phil Esten, Vice President and Director of Athletics at St. Thomas.

"We have fun competing in anything we do, so we are just excited to have the opportunity to be here," said St. John's Athletic Director Bob Alpers.

On Saturday Morning, the two men went head to head for the food packing challenge.

"Giving back we know is important. We know it's both important to St. John's and St. Thomas communities," said Alpers.

"The product today will go to after school programs which we run which we take for granted. The kids who don't have food every day, if we can give them food or a snack, they are more ready to learn and it's easier to develop relationships with them," said Tony Sanneh.

As for the athletic directors at both universities, their own competition was declared a tie.

"It's kind of like competing against your brother. A sibling rivalry a little bit. You want to beat them as much as possible, more than anybody, but when the game is over, you celebrate together," said Esten.

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Ashley Zilka

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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