Lathen steps away from the mic after two decades of calling Roland-Story events

Contributed news from Roland-Story High School
Special to the Herald
Tom Lathen

Anyone who has attended a Roland-Story athletic event will likely recognize Tom Lathen’s voice.

For the past 21 years, he has served as the Norsemen’s public address announcer, calling baseball, basketball and volleyball competitions. Lathen is now set to retire at the end of the school year.

“It truly has been a privilege being involved in Roland-Story athletics these past 21 years,” Lathen said. “The administrators I have worked with, the coaches, the team members and, of course, the communities of both Roland and Story City have been extremely kind to me. Being a part of Norsemen athletics has been very special to me and a memory I will carry with me the rest of my life.”

Lathen began announcing Roland-Story boys’ and girls’ basketball during the 1999-2000 season. He later expanded his service into other sports.

“Tom's level of professionalism is unmatched in high school athletics,” Roland-Story Athletics Director Brian Petersen said. “He added so much to the overall experience for our Norsemen, as well as student-athletes at other schools.”

Over the years, Lathen spent thousands of hours preparing for and announcing games at Roland-Story’s athletic events.

“Tom is extremely good at what he does, and his numerous volunteer hours exemplify the Roland-Story core values of humbly serving others and consistently committing to excellence,” said Superintendent Matt Patton. “He has been a mainstay at our competitions and events for many years. I want to thank him for his dedication and support of our student-athletes.”

Lathen has been an announcer since 1976, when he began calling auto races at The Speed Bowl in Red Cloud, Nebraska. He then worked as a radio broadcaster in Spencer and served as the track announcer at Buena Vista County Raceway in Alta. His career then took him back to his home state of Nebraska, where he announced at several tracks. He also wrote for FasTrack magazine.

In 2000, he became the traveling series announcer for the NASCAR All-Star Series. He later was named series announcer and marketing and media coordinator for the regional Late Model series of the WORLD Dirt Racing League.

In 2015, he was inducted into the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame.

Lathen now runs a wedding DJ business and has three grandchildren. Considering he now lives about 45 minutes away from Roland-Story High School, he decided it was time to retire from announcing Norsemen athletics.

“We cannot thank Tom enough for all the time and effort he has given to Roland-Story over the last 21 years,” Petersen says. “We are truly going to miss hearing Tom's voice at our activities, but we will also miss Tom and his wife, Donna, at our events.”

The Roland-Story Community School District thanks Tom Lathen for his service. We are so grateful to have benefited from such a skilled PA announcer at our events over the years!