Jessica Hopkins Making a Strong Case as LFL Canada Defensive Player of Year

Mark Staffieri@@MarkStaff100Contributor IIOctober 22, 2012

Greeting the fans in the Angels first ever game (Courtesy of LFL Canada)
Greeting the fans in the Angels first ever game (Courtesy of LFL Canada)

In the inaugural season of LFL Canada, one of its most successful players on the defensive side of the game is Ferndale, Washington resident Jessica Hopkins. The 5'4" safety and wide receiver has emerged as a key factor in the Angels' strong run.

Despite having only one reception this season, a 29-yard catch and run that resulted in a touchdown in a loss to Saskatoon, Hopkins' true impact for the Angels is on defense. Through the first three games of the season, Hopkins has an astounding 21.5 tackles (20 of them are solo). Along with two tackles for loss, Hopkins has assembled a remarkable season.

Hopkins made a great impact in the first ever LFL Canada game, a 41-18 win over the Regina Rage. She played the middle linebacker position and had four tackles, including two for a loss.

The LFL Canada leader in tackles and tackles per game (7.2), Hopkins and Katie Marshall (who leads the league in sacks with three) have been great contributors to an Angels defense that has allowed only 67 points all season. A season-closing win against the Toronto Triumph would guarantee the Angels a spot in the LFL Canada Lingerie Bowl.

While BC has had some inconsistencies at the quarterback position, Hopkins has emerged as the leader of the defense. One of two US imports currently on the Angels' roster (the other being Christine Moore, although two others, Cassandra Strickland and Riki Creger-Zier, had been named to the season-opening roster), Hopkins experience of the game has been invaluable to her BC teammates.

The 2012 Mortaza Award winner, Hopkins exemplifies the values of dedication, perseverance and leadership. During the 2011-12 Seattle Mist season, she played with Angela Rypien, the daughter of Super Bowl XXVI champion quarterback Mark Rypien.

Hopkins benefitted from her presence, as she produced 222 receiving yards and five touchdowns. On the defensive side, Hopkins had 11 tackles, two interceptions, and one fumble recovery.