Badgers Say Goodbye to #74

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Coach Erekson tributes his player Mafatini at the vigil. Photo from Snow College Instagram.

Mafatini Taimane-Laititi Mafatini (19), Snow College football player, passed away after a vehicle accident on Sunday, Oct 4.  The accident involved one car and occurred on 100 N in Ephraim, in front of the Suites at Academy Square.  Mafatini, a freshman offensive lineman, came to Snow from Maui, Hawaii.  Mafatini was described by Badger Football coach Zac Erekson as,“such a bright light in this world. His smile and infectious laugh will be missed not only by our team, but by all those who knew him.” 

Reactions of grief are coming from all sides of campus.  With some of Mafatini’s favorite things being placed by friends at the entrance to the Terry Foote Stadium as well as a candlelight vigil hosted by the Student Body Officers on Monday night.  At the vigil, students and staff were invited to sign a poster that would be given to the family.  Coach Erekson said, “We are extremely saddened by the news of Mafatini’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family back in Maui…we give our love and prayers for his family and for all those that were involved in this terrible accident.” Erekson also spoke at the vigil saying, “Mafatini was a perfect example of love.”

President Cook thanked the first responders and Snow College Police for their swiftness and care handling this accident; saying, “A tragedy like this shakes all of us.  We appreciate those who have delicately handled this situation with competence and pledge our support to our coaches, players, and the Mafatini family during this difficult time.” The Snow College app was also filled with messages of condolence. The announcement of Mafatini’s death has over 100 comments all sending messages of peace to his family and friends.  Sione Nomani, Mafatini’s teammate and roommate said, “For those who don’t know who Mafatini was, he was a socially awkward kid from the rock. He never left the rock in his life until he came here. He was a pure-hearted person. He cared about everyone else and put everyone else’s needs before his…God has a plan for everyone. We all love him, and we know he loved us, so I know he’s watching down protecting us.”

Students are encouraged to reach out to the Wellness Center if they are in need of help with grieving this tragedy.  Call 435.283.7136 to schedule an appointment.  Snow College Public Relations Advisor, Marci Larsen calls all Badgers to be kind to one another, saying, “Many of [us] are struggling.  Please be patient, compassionate, and sensitive [to all] as we all process this situation.” 

The Snowdrift staff sends love and light to all those who knew him. May you rest in peace, Mafatini.  You are forever in our hearts, Badger.  

Football team kneels in a 74 second moment of silence for their teammate Mafatini. Photo by Snow College Instagram
Some of Mafatini’s favorite things. Photo by Emily Parnell.

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