Seattle Superstar Jessica Hopkins Returns To BC Angels For Second LFL Canada Campaign
LFL360.com, Mark Staffieri
As LFL Canada gears up for its exciting second season, the return of Jessica Hopkins to the league’s ranks is most welcome. One of the greatest competitors in the history of LFL US, the Seattle Mist’s superstar made a remarkable impact with the BC Angels in 2012.
Anchoring a defense that allowed the fewest points in the league (89), Hopkins registered a team-best 27 tackles along with a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown. One of the key leaders on an Angels club that would finish the season with a league title, she was also a tremendous motivator and mentor to the likes of Canadian-born stars like Katie Marshall and Stevi Schnoor.
Having finished the season as LFL Canada’s Defensive Player of the Year and Mortaza Award winner, Marshall benefited greatly from Hopkins’ experience and guidance. “I am really looking forward to seeing Kate, as well as all of the returning players from last season. I am even more excited to see how they have developed their game in the off season.
It has been so great to be able to stay in touch with all the girls and their support down here in the States during our US season. If I was not playing for them (the Angels) this season, you can bet I would be in the stands rooting them on to another championship,” said Hopkins.
Since winning the LFL US Mortaza Award in 2011, Hopkins has been on a remarkable run of momentum. Of note, the LFL Canada title in 2012 was not her only significant win of the year. In December 2012, she would return to her US club team, the Seattle Mist, contributing to a victory in the inaugural Pacific Cup.
Coming off a 2013 in LFL US where she was part of the first undefeated season in Seattle Mist history, Hopkins was one of the team’s most versatile and dependable contributors. Her superlative season was complemented by a well-rounded game.
Her offensive performance of 148 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns was accentuated by 5.1 yards per carry and 18.4 yards per reception. She would finish second on the Mist in rushing yards, behind rookie sensation Mele Rich. Defensively, she logged 16 tackles, of which an astounding 15 were solo, ranking third on the team. In addition, she had one interception and a fumble return, respectively.
Extolling all the qualities of leadership, Hopkins remarkable game is poised to be even better with her second stint with the Angels. With veterans such as quarterback Mary-Anne Hanson, Marshall and Schnoor returning, Hopkins presence only increases their chances of claiming a second consecutive title.
“I am really looking forward to helping the Angels defend their title this season. They have a new set of coaches and a lot of new faces on the team this year. So I am excited to help out and fill any voids the team may have this year,” remarked Hopkins.
As the team features several new faces, including the likes of Deanna Schaper-Kotter (who comes to the Angels with a background in lacrosse and volleyball), along with former soccer players Rebecca and Veronica Velludo (the first sisters in LFL Canada history), the chance to learn from Hopkins holds the potential of being a tremendous boon to them. Schaper-Kotter shall be replacing Stephanie Manou as the Angels’ new running back while the Velludos are the first pair of sisters in LFL Canada history.
Hopkins’ presence shall help the rookies learn about the essence of team work, preparation and effort. The opportunity for them to call her a teammate and a friend will only enrich their experience as LFL competitors.
A football hero and fan favorite on both sides of the border, Jessica Hopkins is one of those remarkable athletes that can make everyone around her better just by being there. While the Angels will certainly be the team to beat heading into 2013, the presence of Hopkins may end up as the difference between winning and losing.