Girls basketball team welcomes new coach for new season

Micayla Martin, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

The Farmington High School girls varsity basketball team recently received a new coach.

Farmington High School hired Laura Guzman as the team’s head coach in late October 2017. Guzman previously coached basketball for four years at Gabriel Richard Catholic High School in Riverview, Mich. and has been coaching softball at Rochester High for the last nine years.

For the third time in the last four seasons, the girls varsity basketball team will begin their season under new leadership. Mary Sheltrown, athletic director, was in charge of the process, explaining that she and administration have to scan and preview applications to narrow the field down to the top candidates that they will call to set up an interview.

The hiring committee was made up of players, administration, and some other coaches who are a part of the program. After the final cut is made, a coach is hired.

Although there is a lot of work that goes into finding a new person to fill that role, Sheltrown is excited about the new future ahead of Farmington’s basketball program as Coach Guzman stood out to earn the position.

“The excitement and energy that she brought with her, there was just electricity and constant movement. She’s concerned with the whole student-athlete. Students come first. She wants the best for them all around,” said Sheltrown.

Players and administration alike agree with the notion that she brings liveliness to her practices. Abbey Smentowski, 12, and Cecilia Norris, 11, key players on the team, praised the coach they saw when Guzman walked into her interview.

“I like how she had energy and was willing to step back and teach us,” Smentowski stated.

Norris added, “She’s very energetic and the environment she brought into the gym was very positive and brought out the best in everybody.”

This year, the team wants to have a winning season, and players feel that Guzman will have a major impact on achieving that goal. Seniors especially want to end their high school basketball career with a bang. Smentowski elaborated her team’s goals.

“As a team, to win more games than we did last year. She [Guzman] came in with a fresh start and I think that’s what we need to have a good season,” said Smentowski.

The players are not the only ones with ambitions of earning more wins than previous seasons. Guzman, as expected, also wants this program to succeed.

“Goals are obviously to be better than last year,” Guzman stated.

Smentowski explained that before a successful season can ensue, there are challenges that come along with getting a new coach.

“Always having to re-prove yourself and your spot,” is one thing Smentowski admitted is tough when faced with new leadership.

Guzman is up for the challenge. She is excited about the amount of talent she has on her team and the things they will be able to accomplish. In addition, Guzman wants to make sure when the season is over, her players take away more than just how to play basketball.

“What I plan to insert is you guys being accountable for yourselves, trusting your teammates, and learning how to play basketball. I just want you to understand a lot of basketball lessons are life lessons,” said Guzman.

Guzman’s motives for becoming a coach stem from childhood when, she admits, she needed sports to keep her grounded.

“As a kid, I needed structure, and I had so many coaches that helped me, so I wanted to coach,” Guzman said. It is clear this coach will be a good fit for the Farmington program in years to come.

The varsity team will play through late February/early March. Details on their schedule can be found on