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Capital University football player dies in drowning accident

Authorities found Mike Hooffstetter's body Monday morning after he went missing in the water Sunday evening.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Capital University community is mourning the passing of a sophomore football player whose body was found in Lake Michigan this week.

According to authorities, 19-year-old Mike Hooffstetter, a native of Grove City, went missing in the water at Pere Marquette Beach Sunday evening.

Hooffstetter was swimming with friends when waves and currents overwhelmed him. People nearby tried to rescue Hooffstetter but were unsuccessful.

His body was recovered Monday morning.

"The death of any member of the Capital Family is difficult, but it's especially hard to accept when it's a student who had so much life ahead of him," said Capital University President Dave Kaufman. "Mike shone academically and athletically. Even in just his first year as a football player, he demonstrated a strong commitment to the team and an unwavering dedication to his teammates."

According to the university, Hooffstetter was a Dean’s List student majoring in criminology and psychology.

Playing as a defensive end, he finished his freshman season with 13 tackles, including 2.5 sacks in seven games.

In his first game on Sept. 2, 2021, Hooffstetter helped Capital win its first game since November 2018 with three tackles.

"Mike was an outstanding young man, great teammate, great student, and a great person," said head football coach Brian Foos. "This is devastating news for our football family. My heart goes out to his family, our team, and anyone who had the pleasure of knowing Mike. I know he positively impacted so many during his short time on campus, and losing him is going to be difficult."

Hooffstetter attended Grove City High School where he played both football and basketball.

He is survived by his mother Cathy, his father Mike, and a younger brother.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hooffstetter family during this tragic time," said Director of Athletics Dr. Darrell Bailey Sr. "The loss of a loved one is never easy, but we want the family to know that we are here during this challenging time."

Capital says memorial service arrangements will be made in the coming days.

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