The student news site of Atascocita High School

The Talon

The student news site of Atascocita High School

The Talon

The student news site of Atascocita High School

The Talon

Former Eagles in The NFL Return To Retire Their Jerseys

Morgan Park
Alumni Samuel Cosmi and Patrick Taylor stand with principal Falker as they hold their retired jerseys.

The first Go Beyond pep rally featured two special guests straight from the big leagues. Green Bay Packers running-back Patrick Taylor and Washington Commanders tackle Samuel Cosmi returned to campus to retire their jersey number.

“Coming into school in 2012, walking through the halls and getting my jersey retired wasn’t something that I thought about,” Taylor said. “Now 6-8 years down the line, being able to have it retired is a true blessing and honor.”

Cosmi cheers with the crowd. (Katie Munoz)

After graduating in 2016, Taylor attended the University of Memphis where he was later drafted in 2020 by the Packers. “There are going to be days where you don’t want to do certain things but you’re going to have to make those sacrifices to get to where you want to be,” Taylor said. “Whether that be staying inside and doing homework or not going to parties and working out, or even just waking up early before school to work out. There’s a lot of things that go into getting to where I am and where I have been.”

Taylor and Cosmi’s achievements in the NFL were celebrated during the pep rally by receiving their framed jerseys. The frames were handed to them by their former coach, Craig Stump.

Taylor smiles as principal Falker announces his name. (Hannah Vadhar)

“It is a blessing to get to coach the guys that we have had in this program,” Stump said. “It was great just helping them develop over the four years they were here.”

When alumni athletes come back to retire their jersey number, no other student from that point forward can use that number. It is an honor placed upon an athlete that ensures that their jersey number is sacred to them on that team.

“To be honest I don’t think my high school self would have ever thought I would have my jersey retired,” Cosmi said. “To know I am, I don’t know, I’d just be over the moon.”

Cosmi graduated just a year after Taylor in 2017 where he committed to the University of Houston before switching to Texas State University. He was drafted in 2021 by the Washington Commanders and has been playing for them since.

“There’s going to be good days and there’s going to be bad days and in those bad days just know to learn from your mistakes,” Cosmi said. “Build on your strengths and attack your weaknesses, that’s the huge thing. If you’re able to do that day in and day out you’re going to have success for sure.”

As Taylor and Cosmi received their jerseys, the stands were loud. After the assembly was dismissed, students lined up to get pictures and autographs from both players.

“That pep rally was electric,” Cosmi said. “It was definitely, and not throwing shade to my class back in the day, but it was definitely way louder and had way more energy than what we used to have for
sure, so it was really cool to see.”

Coach Stump brings the jerseys to Cosmi and Taylor. (Katie Munoz)
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About the Contributor
Hayli Rubidoux
Hayli Rubidoux, Writer
This is Hayli Rubidoux’s first year on the newspaper staff. She enjoys writing stories from different angles and taking photos of events around the school. Hayli is also on the yearbook staff, this being her first year there as well. Although she’s a junior, this is only Hayli’s second year at AHS. She previously lived in Arizona and attended school there her freshman year. In her time away from school, she enjoys going roller skating with friends and watching TV with her mom. Hayli is looking forward to being able to tell everyone’s story through journalism and put out news people not only are entertained by, but that makes them care.

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