Julius Poppinga, the son of former Packers Super Bowl champion linebacker Brady Poppinga, died Wednesday, his sister Jasmine confirmed on social media.
Poppinga suffered a severe asthma attack last week, according to the Ventura County Star.
The report added that he dealt with a collapsed lung while hospitalized that he did not recover from.
The 17-year-old junior attended Westlake High School in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and was a two-way football player.
“On behalf of the entire Westlake High School community, we send our deepest condolences to Julius’ family, friends, teammates, and everyone who had the pleasure of knowing and interacting with him,” Principal Jason Branham said in an email sent out to the school community, according to the Ventura County Star. “At Westlake and throughout CVUSD, one of our greatest strengths is our caring and close community, which makes it all the more important that we continue to support and be there for one another in this incomprehensible time of loss and sadness.”
The Los Angeles Times reported Poppinga had not played or practiced since Aug. 18.
Westlake coach Mark Serve told the paper he visited Julius at the hospital earlier in the week.
“He didn’t want to talk about his health. He wanted to talk football,” Serve said. “We talked about him getting back on the field. I was texting last night letting him know, ‘I love you.’”
Poppinga’s sister, Jasmine, posted a touching message on Instagram.
“Words can not even begin to describe the immense amount of love, kindness, compassion, humor, athleticism, knowledge, trustworthiness, consideration for others, sincerity, loyalty, and friendly characteristics Julius holds,” Jasmine wrote. “He is the best younger brother I could ever ask for. And the most amazing older brother to my younger sisters.
The Westlake football team’s Instagram account also posted a photo of Poppinga and his sister with the message: “The Westlake Football family wants to send our deepest condolences to the Poppinga Family. Julius was a beloved member of our team and will be greatly missed by the entire tribe. #OneTribe #WarriorStrong.”
Westlake is scheduled to play Thousand Oaks on Friday and Brady told Serve his son would have wanted the team to play, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Brady, a fourth-round pick of the Packers in the 2005 NFL Draft, spent six of his eight 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 in honor of the movie “Gladiator,” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.