Hopkins won a third straight OK Silver championship in 2020.
The Vikings graduated key players like Colin Weber, Trevor Smith and Matt Reynolds, but they also return eight starters on each side of the ball.
"The biggest thing is getting the next group to step up and lead and find who's going be the energy bug and get everyone going," 11th-year Hopkins head coach Cody Francis said. "I've got some great kids and I know they're going to step up to the bell when it's their time to shine."
Hopkins was one of the many schools that fell victim to the COVID-19 protocols in 2020.
The Vikings were forced to forfeit their regular season finale against Kelloggsville and were not able to practice prior to their playoff opening loss to Belding.
It has made the team even more hungry for football this season.
"We're excited because we get a full season this year," senior offensive and defensive lineman Noah Dame said. "We're just looking forward to practicing hard every day and just bringing it the first game."
Before Hopkins begins defense of the conference title, the Vikings open with two tough non-league games at home against Unity Christian and Allendale.
"Coach Tibbe has been doing great things there (Unity Christian) since he started the program and then you know Ben Burke in Allendale is doing great things," Francis said. "Allendale and Hopkins used to be the biggest rivalry when I was a student athlete at Hopkins and they've gone on and grown as a community and they're still doing great things but we are trying to get that rivalry going again."