ALTON - After a difficult 0-9 campaign last year, the Marquette Explorers football team is ready for a more positive season.

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Given the circumstances, the team is heading into the 2022 season optimistic and has a good young group out for this year.

While they might not have the most returning players, the Explorers have an incoming freshman class of nearly 20 to make up for it. According to some coaches, it's one of the best freshman classes in a long time. Most of them have played already in middle school, which makes them one of the most talented groups of incoming freshmen in a while.

So, maybe things are looking up for the program, one that finished 5-5 just two seasons ago. Their last postseason game was in 2017 when the Explorers went 8-2.

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That was also the last time Marquette beat Civic Memorial, their opponents in their season-opener. That game will be played at 7 p.m. at CM's new and improved stadium.

Marquette's first home game is on September 2nd against Salem at 7 p.m. at Public School Stadium in Upper Alton.

Last week was tryouts for the Explorers and they were happy with their numbers. They've been practicing all summer and putting in the work to try and have a complete turnaround of a season.

The pictures below were taken last Wednesday, August 10, during their third day of tryouts held at Gordon Moore Park.

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