This Senior Got a Jump on His Career at CHC
Nick Fratto '16
Growing up, Nick Fratto ’16, was preached a simple message by his father: “Sports is everything.”
It was this mentality that led Fratto to play football in seventh grade, to try out for and make the basketball team at Monsignor Donovan CHS in Toms River, N.J., and to come to Chestnut Hill College, not only knowing he wanted to become a sports broadcaster, but also with the determination to make that dream a reality.
Upon arriving at CHC as a first-year communications major, Fratto wasted no time in contacting Greg Gornick, athletics communications coordinator, who was more than happy to help him get his start.
“I sought out Greg and he offered me the chance to do some play-by-play for the basketball games through the online stream they were running at the time,” Fratto says. “I was really big into basketball, so I knew I wanted to be able to do something with the team. This was a perfect fit.”
Fratto worked side-by-side with Ed Caiazzo, (whose background included working with Marc Zumoff of the Philadelphia 76ers) for most of his freshman year, calling both the men’s and women’s home games. As a sophomore, he found himself with the opportunity to continue to call the games, this time however, as a solo commentator.
“I remember freshman year being nervous but then when I had to call some games alone, I was really nervous,” Fratto says. “It was a great experience though, being able to do it by myself and gaining that confidence.”
Before Fratto returned to campus for the spring semester of his junior year, CHC agreed to a partnership with ESPN Williamsport, which was designed to provide the College with professional, web-based sports broadcasts. This was an unprecedented move for the College, as it marked its first experience working with a national radio outlet, and was also something new for ESPN Williamsport, which according to a statement from Owner and General Manager, Todd Bartley, was “entering the Philadelphia market for the first time.”
In order to accomplish the goal of giving CHC the best broadcast possible, ESPN Williamsport looked to Joe Tordy, an update anchor for 97.5 The Fanatic, as well as the former broadcasting and media relations manager for the Camden Riversharks of the Atlantic League, to serve as the lead play-by-play announcer.
Fratto, who was ready to begin the next chapter of his broadcasting career behind the banner of a widely recognized, national media outlet, would work alongside him.
“It’s been great and Joe has helped me out a lot,” Fratto says. “He’s given me some advice and he’s helped me get better at the job. I’ve learned a lot from him despite only working together one season.”
In addition to calling play-by-play, Fratto has also worked with Tordy to conduct post-game interviews with Jesse Balcer, head men’s basketball coach, and Laura Pruitt, former head women’s basketball coach.
Fratto’s involvement in the Athletics Department at CHC goes beyond just basketball however. He has managed stats as a work-study job for just about every team on campus since freshman year, and this season, is going to be starting a new role, as a PA announcer for the women’s volleyball team. He’s also working as the sports anchor for the newly revived Griffin News, run through the TV club, and as a sports reporter for The Griffin, the student-run newspaper.
And somehow he’s also finding the time to line up as a wide receiver/defensive back as a member of the brand new sprint football team.
“I was thinking of playing basketball this year but I wanted to try something new,” Fratto says. “I’ve been a huge football fan all my life so getting to play again, I’m really looking forward to it.”
Fratto hopes to work in radio or television broadcasting someday, calling football games or working for an organization such as NFL Films. Right now though, he’s taking his career one step at a time.
“I’m going to enjoy my last year and see what happens,” he says. “Maybe I’ll be able to do some stuff with ESPN as an internship or after I graduate. In the meantime, getting to work with radio, calling the games and creating the picture for those listening, it really has been like living the dream.”
— Marilee Gallagher ’14