When Hank Harris found out that Anson County High School was dropping down to Class 2A this season and leaving the Class 3A Southern Carolina Conference the then head coach of the Bearcats was pretty happy.
“I told a friend of mine that I was kind of glad to get out of the (Southern Carolina) conference with Anson,” Harris said. “We were competitive at Anson, but it was hard to get over the hump.”
But Harris is now right back in the middle of the mix in the Southern Carolina Conference, and the veteran coach is back where he started. Harris, who spent four seasons as an assistant at Cuthbertson before going to Anson County, was recently picked to replace Travis Little as the Cavaliers’ head coach. Little, who resigned last August, was the only coach in Cuthbertson history and he led the Cavaliers to the state tournament in seven of his eight seasons at the helm.
Harris was an assistant coach under Little for the first four years that Cuthbertson fielded a team before moving to Anson County. Harris grew up in Waxhaw.
“It happened pretty fast,” Harris said. “Coach Little is a friend of mine and I was an assistant the first four years of the program. It’s a blessing to come back and it was an opportunity I had to take.”
Harris said he tried to model the program at Anson County after what he learned under Little at Cuthbertson as an assistant.
“I tried to mimic the program at Cuthbertson because we were very successful at Cuthbertson,” Harris said. “Coach Little is a great friend and a great mentor and he taught me how to build programs. When I went to Anson, I worked hard to rebuild that program and get it back to prominence. It was hard to leave because they are going to be really successful this year in going down to Class 2A.”
Harris is optimistic that the Cavaliers will continue their winning ways on the baseball diamond. Cuthbertson won the Southern Carolina Conference Tournament last spring and advanced to the state tournament.
“We are going to be young, but we are going to be just as competitive,” Harris said. “We will take a lump or two this year with our youth, but I think the future is bright for the Cuthbertson program. Year-to-year, we will have the same talent that other teams in the conference have.”
Charlotte Catholic and Parkwood High joined the SCC this school year and Harris said that makes a very good baseball conference even better.
“This conference will be that much better,” Harris said. “It’s nice to be familiar with all the teams. I always thought it was the best conference in the state regardless of class. Top to bottom, it was always one of the best conferences in the state, and it just got better.”
Harris attended Parkwood before graduating from Indian Land, S.C. in 1993. After high school, Harris served in the U.S. Marines. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University.