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Mines football navigates through uncertainty

The 2020 fall football season has been scrapped at all Division II college programs across the country.

GOLDEN, Colo. — "This is my first fall without football since 1969 as a player and a coach, so its uncharted waters," said Gregg Brandon, head coach of the Colorado School of Mines football team.

The silence is deafening for Greg Brandon. The head coach at Colorado School of Mines is missing a big part of his life.

(Blows a whistle) When was the last time you got to blow a whistle, coach?

"March 11th, 2020," Brandon recalled.

That’s when the coronavirus pandemic took the air out of football.

Spring workouts, summer camp and the 2020 season were scrapped at Division II programs across the country. It’s been a strange start to the school year in Golden.

RELATED: RMAC postpones fall team sports to spring

RELATED: Mines football adjusts to virtual spring practices and workouts

"I’ve got 33 new freshman players here," Brandon said. "They’re all living in the same dorm and I hardly know them."

The Orediggers begin weight training next week and if all goes well spring practice will begin in October.

"The kids have been great. They want to be here. They want to train," Brandon said. "They want to be around football and we’re gonna get them lifting for a couple of weeks, then some position work with them in small groups."

High school players will also hit the field for prospect camps.

"At our level, the Division II level which is awesome, you can work them out. So you can actually see them run a route, throw a pass, back pedal, you know hit a bag. Those are all great things," Brandon said.

For this coach, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

"Oh, no question. I just hope we get to the end of the tunnel," Brandon said with a smile.