Ben Lippen knows what's coming.

The Falcons enter 2017 as the reigning SCISA 3A state champion and that means they will get everyone's best shot as teams vie to see if they can knock out the champs who will have a different look to them in 2017.

Bryce Thompson, the Division I prospect who has offers from the likes of USC and Virginia Tech, returned to Dutch Fork. Quarterback Patrick McClure is now at Jacksonville University, but the Falcons have filled that void with the arrival of former Chapin quarterback Trad Beatty. He will join the returning players to form a team that head coach Derek White says has paid the price in the off-season.

"I think 10 guys on our team can bench press over 300 pounds," White said.

"Not that I qualify the bench press as any great thing, but we're as strong as we've ever been. We're in as great a shape as we've been, haven't heard any complaining or moaning out here when we're running. Last day of conditioning last week we run 18 110s. Best 110s since I've been here. Kids understand it's easy to build it. Can you sustain it? That's what's tough."

Ben Lippen will get a major test right out of the gate on August 18 when it faces University Christian out of Jacksonville, Florida.