New coach, same expectations

Coach+Cabaniss+with+players+at+his+community+introduction+last+spring.

Panorama Staff

Coach Cabaniss with players at his community introduction last spring.

Elizabeth Franklin, Editor

The start of every new football season presents challenges, but for Harry Cabaniss, Chapman’s new head coach, this season brings an entirely new and unique set of challenges.

A product of the football program at Newberry College, Cabaniss came from Mauldin High School where he was the head coach for the last three years. In addition, he coached both track and football at Woodland high school. 

He led his Mauldin team to the 5A playoffs in both 2017 and 2019, but former coach Mark Hodge’s two-time 3A state championship legacy is a tough one to follow.

Cabaniss is unfazed.

“I’m gonna be me,” Cabaniss said. “We don’t put pressure on ourselves, we apply pressure.”

Despite the expectation of success, Cabaniss says the biggest obstacle has been taking over the program in the midst of COVID-19 with countless new protocols. He has turned these obstacles into positives for his coaching staff. 

“Once we got going, it was actually kind of nice,” Cabaniss said. “Our new coaches were able to interact a lot more with smaller groups of guys.” 

The new coaches are bringing new perspectives and experiences to the program.

“Anytime you bring a bunch of new people in, you just gotta get your new ways of doing things,” Cabaniss said. 

Team chemistry plays an important role in a team’s performance, but junior Jacob Bagwell, a lineman for the Panthers, says that nothing much has changed.

“These new coaches came in and asserted themselves to us, and we’ve all gotten close already,” Bagwell said. “We trust each other and they trust us.”

Both Cabaniss and Bagwell emphasized that even though this year is different, expectations for both players and coaches are the same.

“We’re gonna expect the same results, but it’s going to look different,” Cabaniss said.