Marquette football gears up for first year in new conference
Marquette, Escanaba, and Sault Ste. Marie are the three U.P. representatives in the conference, which was previously an all-Lower Peninsula league.
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Marquette football began practice this week ahead of the 2023 season, which will be its first in the cross-peninsula Big North Conference. Marquette, Escanaba, and Sault Ste. Marie are the three U.P. representatives in the conference, which was previously an all-Lower Peninsula league.
“We got a great group of kids,” head coach Eric Mason said. “The biggest thing is we got a great number of kids. This is the most kids we’ve had in the program since I can remember.”
Those high participation numbers are what prompted Marquette to make the move. Mason said it looks like a big change on paper, but if you break it down, their schedule isn’t all that different from years past.
“We’ve been going down state at least twice in the regular season for years,” Mason said. “Whether it be Traverse City or Petoskey or whatever, we’ve been going down, and we’re only going down twice this year.”
Players like Central Michigan commit Dasan Smith are excited that the new conference might put more eyeballs on the Marquette program.
“I think it’s just going to bring only opportunities,” Smith said. “We’re going play the down state teams more, a lot more scouts hopefully for a lot of the team.”
Marquette players are also thrilled to be back on the practice field because they’re returning a large senior class that saw a lot of playing time last year, including a large contingent on the offense.
They said that has them ahead of schedule at this point in camp.
“The offense is looking really well,” wide receiver Wyatt Lakenen said. “Better than how it did at the beginning of last year at least. We’re developing really well. We have a lot, a lot of potential.”
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