Southsider Voice writer
Harvard man and Roncalli graduate Cole Toner doesn’t need to go shopping this Mother’s Day. Being selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round of the National Football League draft is more than enough to satisfy his mother, Angie Toner.
“It was a very special (Mother’s Day) present to see him get drafted,” Toner told The Southsider Voice. “I was ecstatic for him, and it was special that he was able to be surrounded by his dad (Dave Toner) and two best friends (David Heckman and Brad Fey).”
Toner explained how the NFL sent an alert to her son to inform him that he was about to be drafted, and more than 20 people filled his on-campus home waiting for the momentous occasion. It didn’t take long to get the call that would change his future.
Mrs. Toner, a Roncalli math teacher, recalled how her son’s first involvement in sports was playing soccer. He soon wanted to play football too and began competing in the Greenwood Football Bantam League.
“Cole continued his love for the game by bringing it to Roncalli High School,” Toner said. “I was content with everything he had accomplished through high school and then playing in college. It was enough for me, but it was not enough for him because he wanted to have a chance to play in the NFL. I wanted to see his dreams come true. It was a great day.”
Toner, who became just the fifth player in history of the Harvard program to be selected in the top five rounds, said Arizona resonates with him as his favorite vacation spot because of all of his previous trips to the West to see family members.
But the one thing that stood out for Toner in the draft-call moment was the ability to share it with his mother. “She told me how proud she was of me and that meant a lot to me,” he said. “She has always been my greatest supporter throughout my life. She is a genuinely loving and caring person, and she has always been there for me.”
Cole pointed out that his mother was the first person he looked to when he got the news. “I gave her a hug. It was a wonderful feeling. It is nice that I have always been able to have that kind of support from both of my parents.
“It is a life-changing experience for me. It is a great Mother’s Day gift to give to her.”