By Steve Svetovich
Dunmore senior second baseman Mia Mandarano comes from a baseball-softball-academic family.
So it is not surprising that softball and college are in her immediate future.
Daughter of John and Rita Mandarano, Mia, 17, is enjoying her senior year at Dunmore to the fullest while she prepares for a future at Marywood University. She will play softball and major in Early Childhood Education at Marywood.
Two of her brothers, P.J., a junior pitcher, and John, a freshman shortstop, both Dunmore graduates, are currently at Marywood playing baseball.
Her sister, Bella, plays with her as a junior center fielder on the Dunmore softball team.
Another brother, Joe, is a sophomore catcher on Dunmore’s baseball team taking after P.J. and John.
With a catcher, second baseman, shortstop, pitcher and center fielder in the family, the Mandarano family is very strong up the middle.
Mia talked about what it takes to be a solid second baseman in softball. “You need to know where the play is and tell the other players where to go. You need to be a leader in the infield.”
Mia has a 93 academic average. She is member of the tennis team. She is in several clubs, including SADD, TACT, the Spanish Club and the Earth Club.
She talked about her goals for the rest of her senior year. “I want to get my grades up even higher and finish strong. I want to help our softball team finish strong and win as many games as possible.”
And her future goals?
“I want to enjoy my time playing softball in college. I want to get my degree and become a teacher with elementary kids. Hopefully, I will get a job teaching at Dunmore. I would love that.”
Mia said she learned a lot from Dunmore softball coach Ryan Ferguson. “He taught me to always be confident on the field and have confidence in myself. He taught me to always keep your mind in the game. It’s a mental game and you should shake everything off in the end.”
And the scholar-athlete, humble in nature, credits her parents for much of her success. “My parents teach me to always stay positive. They tell me you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. They really taught me everything in life.”
Mia enjoys listening to music in her spare time and particularly loves country music artist, Luke Bryan, who she saw a couple times in concert.
Mia, who hit two homers last season for Dunmore and has played softball most if her life, has very good time management skills. “You need to always be prepared, organized and know what you are doing next. You need to understand everything you are doing.”
Appreciative and hard working, Mia is cherishing all the moments as she closes out her academic and athletic career at Dunmore.
“Dunmore High School has been great. I made so many great friends here. I will have these friends forever. The teachers were really great. They taught me so much. What they taught me will take me to the next level and the level after that.”