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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Tim Weaver

California HS football player dies after severe asthma attack

According to a report by LA Times’ Eric Sondheimer, a football player at Westlake High School in California, has died after suffering a severe asthma attack.

His name was Julius Poppinga, and he played defensive end for Westlake in their season opener against Taft (Calif.) two weeks ago.

Head coach Mark Serve told Sondheimer that he visited Poppinga at the hospital earlier this week, and he seemed to be improving. The 17-year-old wanted to talk about football rather than his health.

“He didn’t want to talk about his health. He wanted to talk football… We talked about him getting back on the field. I was texting last night, letting him know, ‘I love you.’ This morning, I got the news.”

At a team meeting, players were informed of Poppinga’s death. Principal Jason Branham informed the rest of the school via email.

Westlake (1-1) will visit Thousand Oaks (Calif.) this Friday night. Their next home game will come against 2-0 Paraclete (Calif.) the following Friday.


SCORES: Live in-game results around the nation as they happen

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