Wyoming recruit Moimoi believed to have drowned

Field Level Media

April 22, 2019 at 11:05 pm.

Wyoming football recruit Naphtali Moimoi is presumed to have drowned after a rescue search off Half Moon Bay in Northern California ended without the discovery of his body.

The 18-year-old Moimoi was knocked off a boogie board by a wave on Thursday, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. Friends saw him in the water but were unable to reach him due to the surf. Moimoi was unresponsive.

“We will continue to work with local authorities to be on the lookout and follow up on any information we receive,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Two helicopters and two boats were involved in the initial search on Thursday south of San Francisco before it was called off due to poor visibility. The search began again Friday and was called off later that day and instead became a water recovery.

The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Moimoi was a highly regarded defensive end. He signed with Wyoming and was set to join the program this summer.

“We have been talking with Naphtali’s family, and our hearts go out to the entire (Moimoi) family at this extremely difficult time,” Wyoming coach Craig Bohl said in a statement released Monday. “As a Cowboy Football family, we are all thinking of and praying for Naphtali, his family and his friends.”

Moimoi had 14 career sacks for Hayward High.