Head coach Lee Ozmint expects Arab to see a typical 7A team that is very improved tonight in head coach Chip English’s second season at Albertville.

The Aggies finished 1-9 last season and lost to Arab 35-0 in the opener, but Ozmint knows English has a reputation for resurrecting programs.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

“They’re athletic and they’re fast,” Ozmint said. “They’ve got some really good wide receivers and a very fast running back (No. 20, Kaleb Gant).

“Up front, they’re going to be formidable.”

English said defense is where the Aggies will be most improved this season. He brought three seniors to Marshall County Media Day in July, and all three are defensive players: linebacker Isaac Henderson, defensive end Kolten Bagwell and free safety Tillman Plunkett.

“Those three guys are going to be the reason for the defense’s improvement,” English said. “The work they put in this summer will really pay.

“Bagwell is going to do big things for us this year. He’s still learning the position, and his progress has been one of the biggest on the team.”

Ozmint, before scouting the Aggies last Friday in their jamboree against Oak Mountain, already knew some things about their defense.

“Their defense is very fast and very athletic,” he said. “Both sides of the ball are well coached.”

While not predicting a victory, English is confident his team will put up more of a fight against Arab – and other teams – this season.

“We’ve come a long way. We’re definitely on track. Year two is going to look better than year one,” he said.

“Last year, we made a big jump. If you noticed our scores, we’d play close games at halftime. Then we’d lose the second half. We’ve learned how to compete in the first half. Now we have to take the next step and learn how to compete in the second half.”

Ozmint said with this being Albertville’s home opener, the atmosphere will be electric.

“I hope it’s not lightning like two years ago, but it’ll be electric there,” he said. “I think it will be a big night for Marshall County.”

• Brindlee Mountain

Head coach Keith Garner’s Lions held their own in their home jamboree last Friday night against 4A St. John Paul II, and looked more competitive than at most times last season.

They’ll hope to keep up that competitiveness Friday night when they travel across the state to play the Cherokee Indians, a team that went 1-9 last season and was shut out six times. Brindlee Mountain badly needs a win to open the season as it is riding a 43-game losing streak.

• Brewer

Head coach Matt Plunkett’s Patriots face Hanceville Friday in the first of three home games to open the season. After that, the Patriots will host Arab and then Ardmore, the latter being both teams’ first 5A, Region 8 game.

• Other openers.

In high school ball, head coach George Redding’s Fairview opens at Columbia in a Thursday night game set to be played at Milton Frank Stadium. Head coach Chris Moss’ Holly Pond team will open Friday night at Clements.

All high school games start at 7 p.m.

In other openers: Arab’s JV team plays at Albertville beginning at 6 p.m. Monday; Arab’s seventh and eighth grade teams open at Cullman on Monday. The seventh grade game will start at 5 p.m., the eighth grade game at 6.

Brindlee Mountain Middle School will play at Holly Pond on Monday. Brewer’s JV team plays at Corner on Monday (6 p.m.). Brewer’s middle school team will play a jamboree at Vinemont on Monday (5 p.m.).

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