17-Year-Old Son of Former NFL Champion Passes Away

Julius Poppinga, a 17-year-old junior at Westlake High School in Thousand Oaks, California, and son of former Green Bay Packers Super Bowl champion Brady Poppinga, passed away on Wednesday. The young athlete, who was a two-way football player and also participated in lacrosse, suffered a severe asthma attack last week, which led to a collapsed lung from which he did not recover, as reported by the Ventura County Star.

The Westlake High School community is deeply saddened by the loss of Julius, who was a varsity football player. Principal Jason Branham expressed his condolences to Julius’ family, friends, and teammates, emphasizing the importance of community support during such a difficult time.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Julius had not been active in football practice or games since August 18. Westlake coach Mark Serve, who visited Julius in the hospital earlier in the week, shared that the young athlete was eager to discuss football rather than his health condition.

Julius’ sister, Jasmine, took to Instagram to share a heartfelt tribute to her brother. She praised his kindness, compassion, humor, athleticism, and loyalty, among other qualities. She also expressed her desire to celebrate his life and the positive impact he had on those around him, rather than focusing on the tragedy of his loss.

The Westlake football team also expressed their condolences on Instagram, acknowledging Julius as a beloved member of their team who will be greatly missed. Despite the tragic loss, the team is set to play against Thousand Oaks on Friday, as Julius’ father, Brady, believes his son would have wanted the game to go on.

Brady Poppinga, a fourth-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, spent six seasons with the Packers, including their 2011 Super Bowl XLV championship team. He also played for the Rams and Cowboys, ending his career with Dallas in the 2012 season. He named his son Julius Maximus, inspired by the movie “Gladiator.”