Team effort aimed at Olympic games
Updated: March 8, 2013 6:39AM
Four days a week, not including tournament weekends, Rob Chatterton, of Northbrook, finds himself commuting, but not for his contractor business.
Instead, Chatterton, who was raised in Wilmette and is a 1981 Winnetka New Trier High School grad, drives his son, — also named Rob — a 16-year-old, a Glenbrook North High School sophomore, to the Fox River Valley for volleyball practice. While the younger Rob typically wears earbuds during the drives, listening to music, the time spent in the family minivan fosters Olympic dreams. Wearing No. 84 on his Sports Performance Volleyball Club Mizuno jersey, the teen hits the volleyball with unusual power, agrees his coach Matt Joniak of the Aurora Great Lakes Center.
Q. So Rob (Sr.), what drives you to champion your son?
A. I think he’s going to be going to the Olympics. He’s only been playing for a short amount of time and he does outstandingly well. I mean, when you watch him play, you just get excited, watching him play. Even if you’re the parent from the other team. He lives, eats and breathes volleyball.
Q. Matt Joniak, does this teen have U.S. Olympic potential?
A. He’s (Rob, 16) got a lot of talent, he’s got a lot of talent. He’s got a lot of height and he’s got a lot of natural athletic ability, which is always a good thing that we look for at the young 16-year-old age. Rob has told me that his top goal is to eventually play on the Olympic (2020) national team. He’s got the potential, he definitely has the potential. He has a very high ceiling which is something not a lot of players do have. If he puts in the effort, he puts in the work, there is definitely a possibility he can play at that elite level.
Q. Now to Rob (Jr.), what’s your dream?
A. When I was younger, I didn’t really think it was, like, a sport for me. But as I got older, I realized it was a really cool sport and I decided to play it. And I really like it now.
Q. Rob (16), what’s your shout out to your dad?
A. I really appreciate what he does for me. You know, I love him tons for doing what he does ‘cause we drive an hour away and he sits up top while I play volleyball and he’s on his computer, listening to music for three, three and half hours, and he’s got to drive me home. It’s kind of a pain on him, but, you know, I really love him for doing what he does and it really means a lot of me.