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Monday 08 July, 2024
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Julius Poppinga Dead at 17, Cause of Death

BY Shahzad Saeed Aug 31, 2023. 10:29 pm

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With the passing of varsity football player Julius Poppinga on Wednesday, tragedy befell Westlake High and its team.

Julius Poppinga, who was he?

The senior, Julius Poppinga, who is 6 feet 1 inches tall and weighs 230 pounds, is said to have suffered a severe asthma attack last week. He reportedly had a collapsed lung while in the hospital, from which he never fully recovered.

Poppinga played both defensive end and offensive line for the Warriors. He also participated in the team’s lacrosse game.

In an email to the student body, principal Jason Branham expressed his condolences 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,” he wrote. “At Westlake and throughout CVUSD, our caring and close community is one of our greatest strengths, making it all the more crucial that we continue to support and be there for one another in this incomprehensible time of loss and sadness,” the statement reads.

On Friday night, Westlake will host Thousand Oaks, a rival team from the Conejo Valley. It’s unclear if the game’s status will change.

Poppinga had previously had lung issues, according to a source who was not authorized to speak to The Times about the player’s health. Poppinga had also previously been hospitalized. He hadn’t played in any games or practices since August 18, when he took part in Westlake’s season-opening matchup with Taft. He served as a defensive end.

This week, when Poppinga seemed to be improving, Westlake coach Mark Serve allegedly paid the young patient a visit in his hospital bed.

He was reluctant to discuss his health. Serve stated that he wanted to discuss football. “We discussed his return to the field. Last night, I sent him a text message saying, “I love you.” I learned about it this morning.”

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The players were informed of Poppinga’s passing at a meeting. The team will play Thousand Oaks on Friday. Serve asserted that he had spoken with Poppinga’s father, who had confirmed Julius would have preferred the team to participate in the competition.

This incident adds to the school’s tragedies since a driver plowed into a crowd of teenagers at a bus stop near Westlake last April, leaving a 15-year-old student fatally injured.

Read more: Champions League group stage draw: Pots, timings and fixture dates

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