Dunmore Senior Looking Forward to Academic, Softball Future

Athlete of the Month - Mia Mandarano

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.

Hmarywooder 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, ┬áhas 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.”

Mandarano settling into outfield spot for Dunmore

Mia, athlete

Sophomore Mia Mandarano is the Dunmorean’s Athlete of the Month selection for the month of May.

By Steve Svetovich

Mia Mandarano, 15, is only a sophomore, but already she has earned a starting spot in right field for the Dunmore Lady Bucks.

Daughter of John and Rita Mandarano, Dunmore, Mia has been getting one or two hits every game and is batting close to .500 at press time. She had two hits and a run in her team’s recent 7-6 loss to intra-borough rival Holy Cross.

Mia started a few games at second base last season as a freshman at Dunmore, but this year settled into right field where she has excelled defensively.

She talked about what it takes to be a good outfielder. “You need to have speed and be able to adjust to where the ball is going in the outfield. You need to be prepared and know the cutoff and where to throw the ball.”

And she certainly has performed well on the offensive side. “I try to keep my head in the game and think about getting a hit and helping my team.”

She said the team is focused. “We want to play as best as possible. We want to win games and play hard. There are so many good teams in our league.”

Mia has learned a lot from Dunmore coach Ryan Ferguson. “He teaches us to always be positive and have confidence in our abilities.”

Her parents have taught her the same. “My parents also teach me to be confident and positive. They tell me I can do anything I want if I work hard enough.”

Mia, an honor student, also is a member of the tennis team at Dunmore High School. She is a member of SADD, TACT, the Spanish Club and the Art Club.

Her best subject is English.

She talked about her future goals.

“I may want to become a teacher and possibly go to Marywood. I would like to get some type of softball scholarship. I really want to go to a good school, play softball, do well in college and end up with a good job. Being a teacher would be nice.”

The scholar-athlete said her hobby is simply practicing softball to be the best she can be.

She plays summer softball in the Dunmore Miss-E League. She played three years of travel softball for the Impact Panthers. Mia has been playing softball in Dunmore leagues since age five.

“I love it.”

Mia enjoys listening to music in her spare time, especially the country music of Luke Bryan who she saw last summer at Montage Mountain.

The talented sophomore has enjoyed her first two years at Dunmore.

“I love Dunmore. We are all so close here at Dunmore High School. There is always someone there for you.”