Fustino named Mid-Wach A Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year


Owen Jones

Girls’ basketball coach Melissa Fustino was recently named the Mid-Wach A League Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year.

Ava Wilde, Staff Writer

Girls’ varsity basketball coach Melissa Fustino was awarded Mid-Wach A League Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year as she led her team through a successful 13-9 season.

Fustino, a Health and Fitness teacher, has been coaching for the past 19 years, serving as head coach for the past nine years. Fustino was awarded this recognition as Mid-Wach coach of the year by her fellow coaches because of her dedication and success throughout this season.

¨It means a lot to be recognized by your fellow coaches for the hard work,¨ Fustino said. ¨You don’t get this award without the kids. If they weren’t as successful and weren’t able to do what they did on the court, I wouldn’t be getting this award.¨

Fustino was pleased with the players’ mindsets and attitudes this season, which she believes led them to great successes. While the team had a slow 2-4 start in December, throughout January and February they had a winning record of 10-4. 

¨They didn’t get down after starting 2-4; they kept working and we kept getting better and it started to pay off,¨ Fustino said. ¨We started to win those close games that we were losing.¨

Fustino enjoys the speed and how hard the game of basketball truly is. According to Fustino, many different components go into the game, and helping kids improve is something she truly enjoys. 

“I love the moment when they get it,” Fustino said. “When you’re working at something, they don’t get it, they don’t get it, and then all of the sudden it clicks and they get it. I love that part of it, seeing them be able to get to that point.¨

Senior captain Charlotte Richmond appreciates that Fustino creates an enjoyable environment for her players to feel excited and motivated throughout the season.

“For our team, balance was really important,” Richmond said. “Fustino understood that we loved to joke around off the court, but once it was game time, the team would flip the switch and become competitive. This understanding between the coaches and the players made the team dynamic positive and enjoyable.” 

Fustino is proud of this season’s group of girls as they were expected to have  somewhat of a “down year,” but they kept their heads high and ended up having one of Fustino’s most exciting seasons as a coach for this team. 

¨These kids really liked to have fun [and were] very upbeat, and we had to approach the season a little differently with them than I had in the past,” Fustino said. “I had a great time with them.”

Though they are losing a tight, impactful group of seniors, Fustino believes the team’s future is bright.

“We have had two successful seasons in a row; we are losing some very athletic girls who are very important to the success of our team this year, but we have a lot of young kids who got a lot of minutes this year who will help out more next year, and I expect them to play a bigger role,¨ Fustino said.