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Adversity strengthens Moye in journey to stardom

Messiyah Moye competes at the KO Bros Showcase on March 21, 2021. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo
Messiyah Moye competes at the KO Bros Showcase on March 21, 2021. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo

Hayward senior center and defensive tackle Messiyah Moye is grateful to be here today.

Throughout his child, Moye and his family have endured countless pieces of adversity. Ten years ago, he lost his father to colon cancer, as Moye dealt with the unspeakable tragedy as a young 8-year-old.

“Even though he was in pain, he would take me where I needed to go no matter what,” Moye said. “I just love how he carried himself. That’s what motivates me.”

And, through the challenges thrown the Moye family’s way, they never quit. Never complained. Never felt sorry for themselves.

They looked up to Moye’s father, whose perseverance despite the pain showed what it takes to be happy, to be thankful for everything thrown your way and how to grow through every single thing life throws your way – whether it’s a curveball or something extremely positive.

Moye looks up to his mother whenever he steps out on the field. They’ve been through the struggle together, having trouble paying bills to tough travel circumstances.

When they didn’t have a car and needed to go to the grocery store, his mother found a way. She would get on the bus and and find change so they could put food on the table. Without a car, she would help Moye take a taxi to BART, then take BART to Berkeley and then a taxi to school. 

“We were just in the struggle,” Moye said. “My mom didn’t care. When we didn’t have food and there wasn’t enough for me, I would eat.I carry myself like that.”

All of this has fueled Moye to become an even greater individual and student-athlete, as he’s set himself up on a path to better himself and his family.

This offseason is the perfect example of Moye’s progress, putting on more than 20 pounds since COVID-19 first hit. He also improved his 40-yard dash time from 6.5 to 5.4 seconds, which he would do by running sprints – 10 of those before he started a workout – and then running a hill every day by his coach’s house.


“I’ve seen myself grow tremendously because I came in, just came in, just got bigger,” Moye said. “I came in and started working with my coach, and it just made me become better and better. It took a minute to see it, but throughout Corona I became better, stronger, faster, quicker and got better at everything. Still progressing.”

There’s simply a no-quit attitude in Moye.

“What’s made me successful is just me pushing when I’m tired,” Moye said. “I’m just like, ‘I’m going to go.’ When I’m like, ‘Ah, I don’t want to do this,’ I just push. And then just everybody around me, surrounding me, saying, ‘Come on, G, let’s go do this. Let’s go do everything we’ve got to do.’ 

“And then just everybody watching how my teammates and my friends carry themself and how my coaches carry themselves, like with pride and dignity. Even the KO Brothers, how they carry themselves and do this thing for us.”

Two Division III schools have offered Moye – Hiram College in Ohio and Pacific in Oregon.

What both schools know they’ll get is someone who will go beyond 100% every single rep, on every single assignment in the classroom and in every aspect of life.

“I’m going to put it all on the floor for them,” Moye said. “Lay it all out.”

What Moye wants to do is continue growing as a student-athlete and help Hayward to a second consecutive league championship, which it did in 2019 after winning 10 games and embarking on its best campaign since it went 12-2 in 2006.

Most importantly, he’s carrying the legacy of his father, who his family knows is proud of watching everything Moye is accomplishing.

“I carry it to the fullest because what he had done for me and everything he’s done for me is so good that I don’t let it burden me,” Moye said. “I don’t let it push me down. I thank God for everything he’s done for me and me having the opportunity for the eight years that he gave me.”

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