Orediggers give Mines, Golden something to cheer about

Homecoming game takes place Oct. 19

Posted 10/15/19

The Colorado School of Mines football team is one of the best-kept secrets in college athletics. And 2019 has proven to be an especially great season for the Orediggers. “I’m proud of how we’re …

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Orediggers give Mines, Golden something to cheer about

Homecoming game takes place Oct. 19

Posted

The Colorado School of Mines football team is one of the best-kept secrets in college athletics.

And 2019 has proven to be an especially great season for the Orediggers.

“I’m proud of how we’re playing this year,” said Orediggers Head Coach Gregg Brandon. “They’re playing for all the right reasons — fun, and (because) they all love to compete.”

He described the team as high-caliber, and added there are no specific “superstars” on the team. “When one side struggles, the other side picks them up.”

Still, said Tim Flynn, the Orediggers’ assistant athletic director for communications, one who could make it to the next level in football is Cameron Mayberry, a senior studying metallurgical and materials engineering who has scored 52 career touchdowns. An All-American running back, Mayberry has broken virtually every record at Mines, Flynn said.

“It’s pretty cool to have somebody that level here,” Flynn said.

Aside from that, something unique to the makeup of this year’s team is there are a lot of young players in their freshmen and sophomore academic years, Flynn said.

The student-athletes at Mines are just like any other student at Mines, he added. They still have homework, exams to study for and their courses are just as demanding.

“It’s a commitment, for sure,” Flynn said of playing football for Mines. “While other students (spend the afternoon) doing homework, these guys are out practicing. And then they still have their homework to do.”

But according to Scott Marshall, a kicker on the team who has been playing football as an Oredigger for three years, it’s all worth it. Marshall is a senior pursing a degree in economics.

Outside of football, most of the players endure late hours dedicated to studies, Marshall said.

“What makes this team special,” he added, “is that everyone’s got aspirations beyond football (but) football gives us an opportunity to do what we love. I’m proud to be a part of it.”

This is Brandon’s fifth year coaching the Orediggers. In that time, the team has gone to tournament twice, in 2016 and 2018, and at about the midpoint of the 2019 season, there’s a high probability the Orediggers will again be heading to tournament.

Mines has “always been known as a very good offensive team,” Flynn said. “This year, they’re playing (as) a good defensive team as well.”

The Orediggers are currently 7-0, giving its hometown community of Golden something to cheer about.

“Mines has played in this same spot since 1893. It’s important for us to be a part of the community,” Flynn said, “and we appreciate the support from the community.”

Mines will be taking on the Fort Lewis College Skyhawks for its homecoming game on Oct. 19 on Campbell Field at Marv Kay Stadium in Golden. Kickoff is at noon.

Aside from the actual football game, another specific-to-homecoming tradition that’s not-to-miss is the Mines Marching Band’s performance of “Splitting the Atom” during halftime.

Basically, as the name implies, the performance simulates splitting an atom to music, and culminates with the band performing Mines’ fight song, “The Mining Engineer.”

“Splitting the Atom” is unique to Mines, said Daniel Sternesky, a senior studying electrical engineering who plays the tenor drums in the marching band.

It’s “nerdy, but the crowd enjoys it,” Sternesky said. “It paints a picture of our studies in a really unique way.”

Homecoming is a way to create a connection between Golden and the university, Marshall said.

It “is a celebration of what brings us together as a community,” he added.

Put simply, Flynn said, homecoming is a great way for everyone — Mines’ students, faculty and staff; alumni; and Golden and Jefferson County residents — to enjoy a fun day as a community.

“Homecomings are always a special time,” Brandon said. “Mines is the hometown team and its undefeated. If you’re a football fan, you’re coming to Golden to watch Mines.”

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