Jun. 7—WEAVER — Long before Giovanni Mosley took his first strides as a Weaver High School varsity athlete, the then-sixth-grader took a flying leap.
To score a touchdown to win a football game.
In P.E. class.
"We were picking rocks out of his leg," said Gary Atchley, Mosley's then teacher and now Weaver's head football coach.
The player who left his coaches an indelible impression as a "dog" on the field and a dude off of it died in a motorcycle accident Saturday in California.
The accident occurred near Fort Irwin, where Mosley was stationed with the U.S. Army. Further details were not immediately available.
The former All-Calhoun County football and track athlete, who graduated from Weaver in 2017, was 23.
Former Weaver head football coach Daryl Hamby, vacationing with Atchley and their families in Orlando, Fla., this week, said he started getting messages about an accident Saturday afternoon.
Hamby called Mosley's death "devastating."
"It's really sad, because he just came by the house, probably about two weeks prior," Hamby said. "Any time he'd come in town, he'd come by the house, and we'd talk and stuff like that.
"It's really affected all of the guys."
Weaver gave Mosley's mother, Christina Dobbins, Mosley's No. 20 football jersey, and Weaver's football team will wear "G" stickers on the backs of their helmets this season to honor him, Atchley said.
Former teammate Dalton Hamby, Daryl's son, posted a tribute on Facebook, saying, "This one hurts."
"This is someone that fought for what he believed in," Weaver's former quarterback said. "This is someone that pushed through the pain and kept moving forward.
"Thank you Giovanni Mosley for being an inspiration to me and everyone else. You've effected so many souls and so many lives that this will leave a pretty deep scar."
The post included a video montage of pictures with Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again" as a musical backdrop.
Mosley was a senior running back and linebacker on Weaver's 2016 Class 3A quarterfinal team, though a knee injury cut his season to four games.
He was part of playoff teams in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. He was a first-team all-county selection in 2016, with 108 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, seven quarterback hurries, four forced fumbles, three sacks, one fumble recovery and one interception.
He was an honorable-mention selection to The Star's All-Decade team for 2000-present as a linebacker. The Star selected all-decade teams in 2017.
Mosley made the all-county track team multiple times, helping Weaver mount a runner-up state finish as a senior in 2017.
After he missed most of football season and basketball season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, doctors cleared him to participate in track the week of the sectional meet. With Weaver in second place at state, Mosley ran the final leg of the 4x100-meter relay and outran the leader to win the race.
Hamby called the feat "the best thing he did that I've ever seen in my life."
By that point, Mosley was about to burst. He cried during football games he had to miss. Come spring, he begged then-Weaver track coach Marcus Herbert to participate.
Mosley was limping at the state track meet.
"I'll never forget it," Hamby said. "Maurice Goodman is handing him off for the last leg, and he's behind this guy, probably about five yards.
"What he did, when he passed him, it gives me chill bumps when I think about it. It was unreal to see that athlete and how much he wanted to do it, for the community of Weaver and his teammates,"
In football, Mosley played nearly every position for Weaver at one time or another. He lined up at defensive end in a game against Ohatchee.
He knocked then-Madison Academy running back Malik Miller out of their 2015 playoff game.
"He would knock your block off," Hamby said.
Take Mosley outside the lines, and he showed a different side.
"If you knew him, you loved him," said Atchley, who was Hamby's offensive coordinator when Mosley played for the Bearcats.
Hamby described Mosley as respectful to a fault and always eager to help.
"As good of a player as he was, he really was just a high-character kid who'd been through a lot," Hamby said. "It's been tough on all of us."
Sports Writer Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter: @jmedley_star.