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Division III Maine college football

No blocking him: Husson's Young-Jopke named to all-decade team

Former Rockland District High School Tiger standout lineman on three levels — high school, college, pros
By Mark Haskell | Apr 03, 2020
Courtesy of: Husson University Rockland District High School graduate Alex Young-Jopke, left, and the Husson University logo, during his time attending and playing football at the school.

Cottbus, Germany — For some time, 2010 Rockland District High School graduate Alex Young has made his athletic bones on the gridiron overseas.

However, it was not long ago when Young excelled for a total of eight years stateside on the football field. First, as a Tiger for RDHS before going on to play for Division III Husson University in Bangor.

Now, the 27-year-old Young, having recently retired from playing five years of professional football, has been honored by Noontime Sports — a website dedicated to Northeast sports coverage —being named to that organization’s all-decade team for Division III Maine colleges.

Young, who now goes by Alex Young-Jopke after marrying wife, Cindy, in 2019, graduated from Husson University in 2014 with a degree in sports management, was a four-year offensive lineman for the Eagles and one of 11 offensive players to be honored on the all-decade team by Noontime Sports.

Eleven defensive players also were selected.

“I am very thankful for the chance I had to play at Husson when I did,” said Young-Jopke. “To be there when coach [Gabby] Price, coach [Nat] Clark and the rest of the staff returned for my junior year, changed my life. Coach Price showed us how to practice like a championship-caliber football team and to love each other as teammates.”

Woody Moore, who coached Young-Jopke on the gridiron in his high school days, said he “was always a good kid, super smart, personable and got along with everybody.”

“You could tell early on in his high school days he was different than everyone else and just got it,” said Moore. “He could take what he learned, apply it and do it in a way that was motivational and spot on. And as a player, he was a stud, a physical presence and a really good guy.”

His ability to mentor younger player, ultimately, helped Young-Jopke extend his career.

Young-Jopke said after the Eagles won their first conference title in program history was “pretty much how I stood out to our coaching staff over here in Germany when they were scouting for their upcoming season.”

After graduating from Husson in 2014, Young-Jopke continued to pursue football and played five seasons with the Cottbus Crayfish in the German Football League (GFL).

Young-Jopke played five seasons before retiring in 2019.

“It’s been an amazing experience playing here,” said Young-Jopke, who now resides in Germany and coaches the offensive line for the Crayfish. “Just getting the chance to work with other great American players over here to help develop the game in Europe has been a great experience as I transition into the coaching world.”

Young-Jopke said Cottbus is “only 30 minutes away from the Polish border and one hour from Berlin.”

He also coaches the organization’s U-19 team, adding “seeing how far those kids have come has to have been the most rewarding part of the entire process.”

Young-Jopke’s playing days, however, ended with a career highlight when he scored his first touchdown — at any level, from peewees to the pros — when he was inserted as a running back and scored with a 10-yard run late in the fourth quarter of his final game against the Berlin Bears.

“Definitely not a better way to go out as an offensive lineman,” he said.

However, sports leagues across the pond — as they are in the United States — are on hold with COVID-19 (coronavirus) spanning the globe at a rapid pace.

“We are not sure exactly when or if our season will begin, since the first week of games was supposed to start in the second week of May,” he said. “We are also on lockdown here, so we’re limited to providing players with home workouts and giving out some learning material.”

Despite the current state of uncertainly — as it is in most places — Young-Jopke said “All in all, life is good here.”

“I speak fluent German [and] my wife and I still travel back to Maine once a year,” he said. “We’re looking forward to visiting again this year, spending time with all of our family and friends in Maine and hopefully catching some football games.”

Young-Jopke is the son of Michael and Amy Young of Thomaston.

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