Football fans were shocked this week to learn that Super Bowl champion Brady Poppinga suddenly died this week at the age of 17.
According to Fox News, Julius Poppinga was a junior at Ventura County, California's Westlake High School where he played on the varsity football team.
The younger Poppinga's death reportedly came after he experienced a severe asthma attack on Wednesday, resulting in a collapsed lung. His school confirmed that Poppinga had passed via a statement posted to Instagram.
"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," it read.
The school also posted images taken at a candlelight vigil held in Poppinga's honor on Wednesday night along with a caption stating, "Amazing show of love and support tonight for the Poppinga family from our Warrior community!"
— Westlake HS (@WestlakeHS_CA) August 31, 2023
Meanwhile, Poppinga's sister, Jasmine Poppinga, put up an Instagram post of her own, declaring, "Taking this tragic event and looking at it positively has been hard, but instead of grieving I would rather celebrate his 17 wonderful and beautiful years on this Earth and all the impacts he made in my life, my families, his peers, teammates, teachers, coaches, and anyone who has ever met him."
"I miss him more than anyone can ever imagine, but knowing that Julius’s lovely soul is in the hands of God comforts me," she continued.
"The way life works through God and our guardian angels is sometimes not the outcome we want or would ever expect," Ms. Poppinga acknowledged.
"I don't have the immediate answers as to why something so sudden would happen like this and I don't know if I ever will have the exact answer," she continued.
The sister concluded by saying, "I trust in God, the universe, and all higher powers that Julius will be taken care of and will be here to watch and comfort over my family."
Brady Poppinga also addressed his son's death, stating, "I would like to thank EVERYONE for their unbelievably beautiful, sweet and loving compassion sent our way."
I would like to thank EVERYONE for their unbelievably beautiful, sweet and loving compassion sent our way. Julius is a special soul who has touched so many lives. He is missed, but we KNOW that through the Savior, we will see him and be with him again. #famliesareforever
— Brady Poppinga (@BradyPoppinga) August 31, 2023
"Julius is a special soul who has touched so many lives. He is missed, but we KNOW that through the Savior, we will see him and be with him again," the NFL veteran stressed.