Coach SaRhonda Hawkins Cheatham – focused on winning on and off the court.

Published 3:03 pm Friday, July 7, 2023

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SaRhonda Hawkins Cheatham proudly represents one of a handful of female coaches in Butler County schools. A proud 2001 graduate of Greenville High School (GHS), the coach and teacher was an all star athlete in her own right, excelling in both basketball and softball before receiving a scholarship for both sports. 

Cheatham earned a physical education degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and has been coaching for a total of 15 years.. Now she is the girls’ head basketball coach at Greenville Middle School, the head volleyball coach at Greenville High School, and teaches physical education.

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Cheatham said her greatest goal as a coach is to help athletes secure scholarships to continue their athletic career and pursue a college education. She encourages them to have a faith- life, and enlists the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) to host bible studies often with the Lady Tigers. 

“We do nothing without prayer,” Cheatmam said. “And, it makes me proud when one of my girls leads us in prayer.”


Fifth grade teacher Shari Powell said Cheatham is the girl’s biggest cheerleader, and teaches them much more than sports. 

“She is really big on exposing them to vibrant activities,” Powell said. “They visit college campuses and attend games on the weekends. She implements soft skills, such as presence, communication, and influence.” 

Powell also noted Cheatham’s coaching improves inter-student relations and overall team functioning. “If they run a mile, she does too.”


Varsity player Alyssa Cook said Cheatham is so much more than a coach to her. 

“I look at her like a mother figure,” Cook said. “If I call or text her, she’s always there, and I thank her for that everyday.” 

Cook said before Cheatham became her coach, girls sports in Greenville didn’t seem to receive the recognition  they do now. 

“As an athlete, she constantly helps me to get better each day, always pushing me to my full potential,” Cook added.

Cheatham said it’s time for the community to come together and support the girls. The coach added she feels community members would be pleasantly surprised at the tenacity of the Lady Tigers. 

“I have the best student athletes,” she said. “Together we overcome the obstacles of life, on and off the court. It’s more than basketball.”

Cheatham is in the process of organizing a booster club for the girls. She said she has strong parental support, but the community fan base could be better. 

“We gotta stop sleeping on the girls,” she said. “They deserve the same support as the boys. Us girls are focused on winning too, on and off the court. I teach them by example. Life is not easy, but don’t let it keep you down.”

Cheatham is the proud mother of three of her own student athletes, BJ,17, Sariyah,16, and Skylar,5.

Volleyball season is up next, and the season opener for GHS is set for August 29 at home against Brew Tech.