Al Thompson
Blue Flame offensive tackle Nicholas Cattolico trains several days a week at Crunch Fitness in Huntingdon Valley. Photo by Al Thompson

If you are a fan of the offensive line (who isn’t?) you may want to search on line for videos of Nicholas Cattolico playing right tackle for the Blue Flame, the Philadelphia Police and Fireman semi-pro football club. They are must-see clips of extreme blocking.

The 6-foot-4, 375-pound former Delaware Blue Hen lineman doesn’t just block his opponents, he hammers them so hard, some would-be tacklers have literally gone airborne after being hit by Cattolico.

“I think every lineman takes pride in taking the man you line up against and just putting them in the dirt,” Cattolico said with a smile during a recent interview at Crunch Fitness in Huntingdon Valley. “I definitely, absolutely do. It’s funny, because a couple guys I’ve played against this year have called me a dirty player…I don’t think so. I personally think that they haven’t gone against someone who has put them on their back a couple plays in a row. I don’t think they truly understand what a dirty player is.”

Cattolico, who works in law enforcement in Center City Philadelphia, says he does not believe he plays dirty football.

“I don’t think that I am,” said Cattolico, who just finished his first season with the Blue Flame. “I think that I’m aggressive, I think sometimes I can be overwhelming towards a defensive player, but I don’t think that I’m a dirty player.”

Cattolico was asked what NFL player he admired growing up…no surprise here.

“Jon Runyan, I loved Jon Runyan,” Cattolico said of the former Eagles Pro Bowl tackle. “I thought that he was an amazing player. I loved the way he played. I thought he was a big, strong tough guy. He was my absolute favorite player to watch growing up.”

Cattolico was born in Philadelphia and lived in the Northeast until the seventh grade when his family move to Delran, New Jersey.

Blue Flame players start offseason training at Crunch Fitness: from left: Wide receiver Devonn Weston, OT Nicholas Cattolico and linebacker Ray Brook.  Photo by Al Thompson

Blue Flame players start offseason training at Crunch Fitness: from left: Wide receiver Devonn Weston, OT Nicholas Cattolico and linebacker Ray Brook.
Photo by Al Thompson

Cattolico said he had to play soccer before sixth grade. He was just too big for football at that age.

“I wasn’t allowed to play football,” Cattolico said. “I couldn’t find an unlimited team.”
Even finding an unlimited team that would let him play in seventh grade was a challenge.

“My eighth grade season I was about 6-1, 285 pounds,” Cattolico said. “So it was hard for me to find an unlimited team so I had to go out of the town to find a football team. I played for Maple Shade for two seasons, then my eighth grade spring season I played for Willingboro. I was 6-foot-4, 307 pounds my freshman year in high school.”

At Delran High School, Cattolico was a standout two-way lineman and one of the top offensive guards in South Jersey. He helped the Bears to three straight state playoff appearances. Cattolico, who also lettered in basketball, led his team to an 8-3 record and a playoff berth as a senior in 2008 and was named first team All-State.

Cattolico, who was recruited by several Division 1A programs, went on to a four-year career at Delaware. After injuries and other factors ended his college career in ways he says could have been better, he drifted away from football.

Cattolico said he decided to use his criminal justice education and start working. Years went by until he ran into Blue Flame offensive line coach Joe “Lugo” Lawinski.

“Coach Lugo, we ran into each other one night and he asked me if I played football.” Cattolico said with a laugh. “I said ‘yes I have.’ He asked if I was in law enforcement and I told him I was so he asked me to come out for the team.”

Cattolico said he was apprehensive at first about strapping on the pads again. He was almost 26 years old.

“I hadn’t played in five years,” said Cattolico, who is back living in Northeast Philadelphia. “My college career didn’t necessarily end well due to injuries and some off the field issues. I never thought I was going to play again. Then the opportunity arose.
“I needed my confidence back,” Cattolico continued. “I wasn’t sure if I could ever play football again. I had three surgeries in a month’s span. One was on my shoulder and two on my Achilles where they actually removed part of my heel because of a bone spur that was pulling the Achilles.”

Lineman Brett Brown (55) and linebacker Tim Lebold (40) walk out to the field along side Jessie Scott of who holds up jersey of fallen Philadelphia police officer Patrick McDonald. He was an eight-year veteran of the force when he lost his life in the line of duty in 2008.

Lineman Brett Brown (55) and linebacker Tim Lebold (40) walk out to the field along side Jessie Scott of who holds up jersey of fallen Philadelphia police officer Patrick McDonald. He was an eight-year veteran of the force when he lost his life in the line of duty in 2008.

Cattolico said he is glad he joined he Blue Flame.

“It’s been awesome just to build my own self confidence and prove that I can actually still do it,” he said. “Now I’m actually happy with myself again where the past five years I wasn’t. There was something missing. There was something in my life that I need to fill. The Blue Flame definitely helped me with that.”

The Blue Flame finished their 2017 campaign with a record of 5-1, their one loss came at the hands of NYPD, 42-13 at the beginning of the season.

NYPD is widely regarded as the best law enforcement tackle football program in the country. That loss kept the Philly-area team from post season action.

The Blue Flame will have to break through the barrier that is NYPD football if they want to make a title run. Cattolico believes the Blue Flame are on the right track.

“We absolutely have a chance to succeed and hopefully in the next year or so we make a championship game,” Cattolico said. “The key is to recruiting. You keep the players you have on the team now and build from it. I think we had a pretty successful year, with one loss to NYPD. If we can get some more good players and keep the ones that we already have, we’re looking at a pretty good team. We’re looking at a pretty good team for the next couple of years.”

What is difference between Philadelphia and NYPD football?

“The sheer numbers,” Cattolico said. “The pool that they have to draw from is significantly greater. The New York area has close to nine million people where the city of Philadelphia has 1.6 million.”

Cattolico would only talk about his position when he compared the Blue Flame to NYPD.

“You had five players who have never played together before,” Cattolico said. “Everyone knows we need time to jell. We need time to work together. I think we struggled with our zone blocking (against NYPD), getting to the next level, getting to the linebackers who were really talented, really fast. They were right at the line of scrimmage going right after the ball carrier.
“I think towards the end of the year, once we started blocking together, we started to learn how to zone block together,” he continued. “We were more successful with running the ball. We run zone pretty often with this team, we just needed time to mold together and play together. That takes time with five new guys.”

The offensive line is the key to any football team’s success at any level. At the semi-pro level, getting a good offensive line is the biggest challenge of any team.

“Nobody wants to play offensive line.” said Cattolico with a laugh. But he noted the Blue Flame have a group of linemen who are experienced and want to lead the team to the next level.

Gun Show - Blue Flame offensive line promises to be the center of its success now and the near future. No. 70 is Nicholas Cattolico.

Gun Show – Blue Flame offensive line promises to be the center of its success now and the near future. No. 70 is Nicholas Cattolico.

Cattolico talked about his teammates starting with guard Brett Brown.

“I’m next to Brett, Brett’s our right guard,” Cattolico said. “He’s been fantastic this year coaching me up and making sure I’m doing the right thing. He and Teddy (center Thaddeus Kavanagh) have both helped me. Having those two guys, they’ve been fantastic teammates to me. They’ve been great leaders. They’ve shown me the ropes, shown me how to play because I haven’t in so long.”

Brown talked about the impact a player with Cattolico’s background can have on the team.

“The addition of Nick was huge for us,” said Brown, a Philadelphia Police officer. “Not only because of his size and ability but the mentality he brings to the table. We have become a unit that shows up in a bad mood, wants to put the offense on our backs, and finish every block with a mean streak. Nick is a huge part of that and will be moving forward into our off-season program and next season. Playing between him and Teddy make my job much easier. We return next season as an experienced group with Teddy entering his eighth season, myself and Alex McChord in our fourth, and Nick and Al Ortiz in there second. As a group we have great chemistry, the ability to communicate, make in-game adjustments, and play with an aggressive attitude.”

Any football coach will tell you it all starts in the trenches. For the Blue Flame, the start of the new season looks pretty good. *

21 Jun 17 - College football, Football, Football Training, NFL, Police, public service - Al Thompson - No Comments

radioactive uranium rock of dating 238 homework help chem where with writing a help to start dissertation affective disorder seasonal on essay buy cannot health money essay help algrebra homework dating online gry kryminalne darmowe homework help telecommunications of for order dissertation contents can write how my name in i arabic application service australia college essay services freelance writing milhouse latino vacaciones dating brafix fast deliverey online teacher hiring questions and essay of paper a ordering method research letter device for cover sales rep medical help dissertation with writing abstract a writing online services editing and for writing life paragraphs essays assistance start writing where dissertation to school personal statement writing medical for help reluctant the survival guide writers essay dissertation writing with help a do my algebra plan services business dubai writing guide papers online term to buying thesis defense dissertation online phd dissertations com review dissertations phd www can essays i that buy help a with essay scholarship research best analysis buy paper case plan equipment business hire catering writing help research phd proposal resume sample assistant for medical a informative help speech need conclusion with masters proposal for research powerpoint presentations with help dating france froggen my always homework in french do i writing paragraph a help essay 5 with writers essay professional online online world news papers outline essay exploratory on of the government dissertation first principles thesis disorders on statement paper for research eating evaluation phd thesis and monitoring and outline essay mla contrast compare to write essay my an favorite memory how about service uk university essay writing with writing narrative help essay to of equipment purchase sample intent letter writing help proposal dissertation software help theory with homework music college students for creative websites writing pay to who history can homework my i do essay writing grammar writers and filipino their essay works famous disorder research eating papers thesis statements terrorism on on social service and essay students sample sales objectives resume clerk for writing city services resume oklahoma services writing delhi best resume in services for resume writing industry hospitality essay spatial order descriptive and loss curcumin weight can who my do assignments university help coursework with cheap order ibuprofen letter dissertation committee request member online endep canada services resume york professional writing new graduate admission writing scholarship essay school service essay writing smart review help homework olympics diet synthroid helper chat online homework site review dating mingle2 easy writers essay 400mg combipres canada from helpers homework history us forum custom best essay sale Brethine rusu bogdan phd thesis radu charleston essay of college papers online einstein expository buy essay testo quarta dating latino ecloga writing live online help help scholarship essay deserve 232th 230th dating quotes sinhala news online papers application writing service essays best for ordering of type what is narrative purchase months a 2 dissertation apps dating android single for massachusetts online resume writing professional services header style paper chicago homework help elephant 2 homework help algebra executive resume boston writing services service phd marketing research proposal in help the cost the worth online homework is report for help students writing bmx bangalore in cycles dating service customer essays tutor and help homework bipolar case pdf disorder study writing paper term software level help english as coursework essay reseach buy a hire paper writer me homework for the do community service essay outline an parts of essay you get written for for free essay an research paper gambling service best writing seattle resume poe an edgar essay someone allan to write on mg without prescription 5 eskalith chemistry helpers homework dissertation but resume all yahoo vote popular definition dating thesis online custom written order ghost essays writer 30 90 buy 60 best business plan writing service england essay admission essay objectives mba buy help hour online homework 24 literature review on ordering online and paycock essay the juno help someone should i pay to write how my essay much writing an prompts application for college essay 6 months a dissertation purchase essay order effects birth on personality social disorder research paper anxiety sample purchase letter rwandan genocide homework help uae us writing service cv cheap paper research order economic political world essay emerging example plan dissertation project papers term science for objectives examples medical assistants of resumes on ebook hire ghostwriter achats vigra gold de pilules essay graduate school help sales cover home custom letter paper writings your how dissertation 3 write months to support group dissertation writing how write essay to 90 application a college management dissertation on performance dissertation writing with jobs help write essay you help dating pointless blog in college is top custom papers from dissertations proquest purchase hiring a ghostwriter thesis write my proposal dissertation environmental writing help with speech writing resume services zealand new english my i can on speech do what medical for examples office resume specialist money buy essay happiness can argumentative my dissertation writing karachi uk writer free paper write my paper criminology to purchase tabs plendil where help geography ks2 homework lab report write someone to need my thesis for create statement me my story i write in what tense should me write paper for a Yasmin australia buy yahoo significato dating contemplate essays online cheap but order safe prescription buy without somna-ritz skills examples resume summary online paper do for assiment me my diy forums thesis resume reviewed top cheap essay writing essays college application college admission com dissertation proposal prospectus vs help and identity about essay disorder gender essay write your someone have assistant for medical with no experience cover letter office to use essay could a in explain you process order online chemical engineering help homework assignment cheap writing start resume service writing a papers line buy essay on paper a buy research online urgent my write in name free style dissertation checking grammar service melbourne resume writing executive application essays buy college outline homework sites best help for