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McKENZIE — Karlene Cheatham is the new head coach for McKenzie High School’s soccer teams.
The Special Education teacher joins the McKenzie Special School District after nine years at the Carroll County Special Learning Center, where she was director for several years up until its closing this summer. She teaches at McKenzie Middle School.
Cheatham, a native of Jamaica, graduated from Bethel University, where she was a four-year starter and two-year captain for the Lady Wildcat soccer team and earned All-Conference, All-Region and All-Academic honors.
She has previously coached for the McKenzie Youth Soccer League intermittently over a nine-year period and has been an organizer of McKenzie’s Special Olympics for six years.
She comes to a Lady Rebel program which set a high bar by reaching the state tournament last year, but she relishes the challenge.
In an interview with The Banner, she says she wants to go even further than last year. “The [returning] assistant coaches say that they’re progressing even faster than last season.”
Cheatham expects leadership from the three team captains Allie Chappell, Maggie Aird and senior Libby Oakley and strong play from a pair of promising newcomers, freshman Haley Brasfield and senior Chloe Williams.
It’s a senior-heavy squad, including Oakley, Williams, Holly Barker, Caleigh Britt, Julianna Cole, Ciria Perez, Bailey Sawyers and Jazmin Ventura.
The team performed well in several scrimmages leading up to the season and in the season opener, a non-district contest at Trinity Christian Academy. Though they fell 2-0, goalkeeper Gracie Dillingham (in her second season in the net) had 15 saves in the contest.
Remaining 2018 Schedule
August 28 — Henry County 6 p.m.; September 4 — Obion County 6 p.m.; September 11 — @ South Fulton* 6 p.m.; September 13 — @ Milan 6 p.m.; September 18 — Westview* 5:30 p.m.; September 20 — Gibson County* 5:30 p.m.; September 25 — @ Peabody 5:30 p.m.; *District 13A opponent