Tonawanda News — Flashing a smile that makes her the spitting-image of her mother, Josephine, Lina recalled those early days of playing hockey with her brother, and how she always seemed to be the goalie — though to this day Lina doesn’t know if it was because she wanted to play net or because John always talked her into it.
“It was 50-50 but I enjoyed it,” Lina Mirabella said with a laugh.
While matching NFL schedules make it tough for John and Lina to get to each others’ games John said they both go that extra mile to watch each other every chance they get. Even if it means racing from one school to the other just to catch an inning or two.
“Whenever I have a practice and she has a game I go there right after practice and she does the same,” John Mirabella said. “She’s been to a couple of my games and I’ve been to a couple of her games this year. It’s hard but they’re fun to go to and see her play. She’s very supportive of me.”
“It’s great to know that he’s there watching me even though he goes to a different school,” Lina Mirabella said.
The conflicting schedules also make it challenging for their parents, John and Josephine Mirabella, to get to every game. But John and Lina say mom and dad do their best to divide their time equally as possible.
Both are team-first players who are extremely unselfish, the heart of what makes John and Lina Mirabella the kind of kids you would want on your team is the character and strong values of dedication and hard work that their parents instilled in them.
“They both have outstanding values,” said Ken East baseball coach Leslie Simon.”They’re just very grounded, polite kids. Also good athletes too.”
Simon also added that the Mirabella’s were gracious hosts for a team spaghetti dinner the East baseball team had earlier in the year.
Bonded by their love of the Bisons, Sabres and Blue Jays, John and Lina Mirabella know that long after their competitive sports days have passed them by they will still be in each others’ corner. Every step of the way.Find contributor Dave Ricci on Twitter @DaveARicci.