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Moimoi

Naphtali Moimoi is seen with his family at his signing day.

LARAMIE — Craig Bohl and the Wyoming football program are among those holding out hope after a member of the Cowboys’ most recent signing class was lost at sea late last week.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, Bohl said he has been in communication with the family of Naphtali Moi Moi, who on Thursday was swept into the waters of Half Moon Bay near Hayward, California, by a rip current, according to multiple local media reports. Moi Moi, a defensive tackle from Hayward High, signed with Wyoming in December.

“Our hearts go out to the entire Moi Moi family at this extremely difficult time,” Wyoming’s coach continued in the statement. “As a Cowboy Football family, we are all thinking of and praying for Naphtali, his family and his friends.”

After authorities were alerted to a possible drowning Thursday afternoon, the search for Moi Moi went from a rescue mission to a water recovery, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. The search ended Thursday night because of visibility issues but continued Friday morning.

That search ended early Friday afternoon, the sheriff’s office tweeted. Public information officer Rosemerry Blankswade told the Star-Tribune then that a body was never discovered. Authorities have not provided an update since.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Moi Moi’s family. Moi Moi and a group of friends were at the beach celebrating their upcoming high school graduation.

“While we are hoping that he comes home, at this time, we are trying to raise money for his memorial service,” Moi Moi’s father, David, wrote on the page.

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Follow UW athletics beat writer Davis Potter on Twitter at @DavisEPotter

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College Sports Reporter

Davis Potter is the University of Wyoming athletics reporter. An Alabama native and 2011 Auburn University graduate, Potter joined the Star-Tribune in 2018 after five years covering Ole Miss and the Southeastern Conference. He lives in Laramie.

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