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St. Thomas home opener canceled because of COVID protocols

The game was supposed to be the first time the team played as a Division I program.

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — The University of St. Thomas has canceled its football team's Sept. 4 home opener because of COVID-19 protocols, according to a news release. 

The release says the team is hoping to find another opponent to play in O'Shaughnessy Stadium "on Sept. 4, or on a date later in the season."

The game, which was scheduled to be against the University of St. Francis, was supposed to be the first time the team played as a Division I program. The team was approved by the NCAA last summer to move into Division I after 30 years as a Division III program, but they did not play any games in 2020 because of the pandemic. 

"Our football program deserves great credit for its approach after a very long layoff between games," said Phil Esten, St. Thomas' vice president and director of athletics, in the release. "Our players and coaches have a 100-percent vaccination rate as a team. They continue to do everything they can to prepare and put themselves in a position to have a successful fall season. Coach Glenn Caruso continues stressing the importance of remaining physically and mentally ready to compete."

The release said ticketholders will receive more information soon.

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