SURRY COUNTY, Va. - It's game time for Surry County High's volleyball team, but we're not really here to cover the game. We're here to surprise their coach, Scharnelle Hamlin.
When our News 3 cameras approached her in between games, she didn't know what to think. We told her that Sharon Presson, a mother of one of the players, sent News 3 an email.
Scharnelle fought back tears as Sharon shared that email detailing how the coach is a special person.
"She pays for a lot of things out of her own pocket. She always goes above and beyond!" Sharon said.
Like the time Sharon's daughter went to the hospital from a volleyball injury: Sharon was at work, by the time she made it to the emergency room where her daughter was being treated, Coach was already there. That meant so much to Sharon.
"Now, this woman had left her own family to be with my family. She will never know how relieved I was to know she was with my daughter while I had to work," Sharon said. "She stayed with her the whole time - it was after one a.m. that we all got home. "
And players like Kori Broeker stress that she's much more than a coach.
"If you're down she'll pick you up," Kori said. "She has everything you need."
Teammate Toni Newby agrees. "She helps us with our homework. She's almost like a mom to us," Toni said.
Sharon added in her email, "She leads by example. She mentors these young ladies to have self-respect, be excellent student athletes in the classroom and on the court, and to win and lose with integrity."
For those reasons, we presented Scharnelle with a News 3 People Taking Action award, along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner Southern Bank.
Her reaction? "I'm stunned! These girls are like my kids. I love them, like I love my own," Scharnelle said.
In addition to being the head coach of this team, Scharnelle also holds a full time job with the Surry County Commonwealth's Attorney's office, is a single mother of two and is active in her church. How does she do it all?
"With a lot of prayer. A lot of prayer and patience," she said, "but these girls make it easy."