Athletic programs play an important role in the total educational experience offered at Latin. They are one more way in which Latin helps each student realize the full range of his or her talents and abilities. The school’s interscholastic athletics program strives to develop confident, enthusiastic and disciplined athletes who use their full physical potential. Latin athletes learn the value of teamwork and the importance of sportsmanship. Most of all, the program teaches students to enjoy athletics.

Latin athletes regularly compete successfully at the state, regional, sectional and conference levels. In the last decade Latin has fielded a state championship girls soccer team, won regional championships in volleyball, softball, basketball, tennis, baseball and cross country as well as numerous conference titles. Latin is a member in good standing of the Illinois High School Association and the Independent School League. The school is also an active partner in the Positive Coaching Alliance, out of Stanford University, which promotes sports as a positive, character building experience.

The Latin community includes many enthusiastic athletics fans who show wonderful school spirit. Our colors are blue and orange and our mascot is the Roman.

Lower School
Even Latin’s youngest students have many opportunities to participate in team sports outside of the classroom.

In addition to regular physical education classes, lower school students can participate in certain interscholastic opportunities beginning in third grade. Third and fourth graders may join the cross-country team, which practices four times a week from September through late October.
To participate in athletics, a student must submit a parental permission slip to the coach. Additionally, students who miss or sit out their regular physical education class, or who fail to attend other classes throughout the day, may not participate in athletics that day. Exceptions are at the discretion of the athletic director. Due to space constraints, it may be necessary to limit the registration numbers in the Superstar program and spectator attendance during the volleyball season. An adult must accompany all student non-participants at lower school athletic events. 

Middle and Upper School
Approximately 75 percent of students in the middle and upper schools play on at least one of Latin's approximately 65 athletic teams each year, and about half play on a team during any given season.

One of the best things about Latin’s athletics program is that the school makes every effort to offer a spot on a team to all interested and committed athletes.

Latin belongs to the Independent School League (ISL) with eight other members: Woodlands Academy, Northridge Preparatory, Willows Academy, Elgin Academy, Francis W. Parker School, University High School, North Shore Country Day School, and Morgan Park Academy. While the majority of our interscholastic contests are with ISL schools, most Latin teams compete with parochial and public schools as well.

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Meet Our Team
Thomas Bower
Director of Athletics, Girls and Boys Varsity Head Soccer Coach
Tom Bower has been part of the Latin family since 1981, heading the boys soccer program and teaching history and physical education.  He has coached girls varsity soccer since 1997 and led the team to a state championship—a first for a Latin sports team—in 2006.  He also has coached varsity boys tennis and middle school girls/boys basketball.  Director of Athletics since 1989, Tom oversees all athletics at Latin, lower school through upper school. Tom is a graduate of Plymouth State University where he played both soccer and baseball. He is an associate workshop leader for the Positive Coaching Alliance and is vice-president of the Independent School League. He has a coaching license from the United States Soccer Federation and a Wilderness First Responder certification from the National Outdoor Leadership School. He has led more than 25 outward bound-type wilderness education Project Week trips.  Tom has been named Sectional Coach of the Year and Independent School League Coach of the Year six times.

Kathy Presberg

Elizabeth Tortorello-Nelson
Assistant Director of Athletics
Former varsity volleyball coach from 2004 to 2010.  Liz has been Assistant Athletic Director from 2007.  She assists Tom Bower with all US sports through hiring coaches, scheduling contests and managing events.   Another role is to coordinate educational opportunities for students interested in participating in college athletics.  Liz is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she captained her team to two sweet sixteen appearances and a Big Ten title.  Before coming to Latin, Liz coached volleyball at Loyola University Chicago for 11 years.  Currently, Liz is the AVCA representative for Illinois and works as  a Color Analyst for Women's Volleyball on the Big Ten Network.

David VanderMeulen
Assistant Director of Athletics, Middle and Upper Physical Education
A 15-year veteran of Latin, Dave VanderMeulen has been the varsity boys basketball coach since 1994. Dave handles all the operations of the middle school athletics program and assists in all facets of the upper school program. Dave received his undergraduate degree at Bowling Green State University and two master’s degrees at Northern Illinois University. Dave has been named All-District Coach of the Year three times and Independent School League Coach of the Year five times.