190821 MS first football game

Muscle Shoals cheerleaders build a balloon arch to place in the front entrance to the school in preparation for the first football game of the year tonight against Deshler. [MATT MCKEAN/TIMESDAILY]

Though the season begins for most high school football teams either this Friday or next, a few local teams begin their season tonight.

Two of the area's more prominent programs meet at 7 tonight as Muscle Shoals hosts Deshler.

The Trojans are ranked No. 3 in the preseason Class 6A state poll, in part thanks to a defense returning most of last year's starters. Linebacker Jackson Bratton is committed to Alabama, and new quarterback Logan Smothers – who transferred from Athens High – is committed to Nebraska. Several other Trojans, particularly on defense, should also have opportunities to play in college.

Deshler finished as the state runner-up in Class 4A in December and has a different coach (Randall Martin), a different offensive style (the Wing-T) and many different players playing prominent roles this year. Deshler is ranked No. 9 in Class 4A in the preseason state poll.

In other local games tonight, Brooks hosts Lauderdale County and Cherokee hosts R.A. Hubbard.

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