By CHRIS HOBBS
CATAWBA – Tom Eanes, who coached Patton High to 17 wins over the last two years that includes a school-record nine last season, is the new head football coach at Bandys.
A teaching contract for Eanes, 62, was approved by the Catawba County Schools Board of Education at a meeting on Monday night. He will teach weight training.
Drew Eanes, offensive coordinator at Patton, will join his father in making the move to Bandys.
Tom Eanes emerged from a field of applicants that approached 30 to replace Trent Lowman, who resigned last month after five seasons to become head football coach at East Surry. Lowman was head coach at his alma mater for five seasons (23-35 record).
Bandys was 5-7 last year after being beaten 56-7 by Hibriten in the first round of the 2AA bracket. The Trojans were 3-4 in the South Fork 2A and finished fifth.
The Bandys job will be the ninth as a head football coach for Eanes, a Davie County graduate whose career coaching record is 147-187-1 in 29 seasons.
For the past 31 years, the Trojans’ head football coach was from the same Lowman family, Randy (26 years) and Trent (five years).
Eanes’ first head-coaching job was in 1986 when he replaced retiring Bruce Bolick at East Lincoln. He has also been a head coach at Hillsborough Orange, Albemarle, East Surry, East Rowan, Pender County and Wilmington Ashley.
Eanes left Wilmington Ashley after three seasons to become Patton’s head coach in 2014, after Joey Glass resigned to become head coach at Concord Robinson.
Patton was playing its ninth season of football – eighth varsity – in Eanes’ first year there and went 0-7 and finished last in the Northwestern 3A-4A and 1-9 overall.
The next season, the Panthers were 4-3 in the league, finishing fourth, and went 4-8 and lost a first-round state 3A playoff game to Freedom, 55-18.
Patton tied for third in the Northwestern 3A-4A in 2016, going 4-3 in the league, and finished 8-5 after defeating Forestview 35-17 and being eliminated 22-13 by Canton Pisgah.
Last season — despite losing starting quarterback Joe Eakin in the opening game and running back William Brawley after the fifth game – the Panthers reached the third round of the state 2AA playoffs.
They were 5-1 in the Northwestern Foothills 2A, finishing second, and went 9-4 after beating North Surry 26-10 and falling in the second round to Hibriten 35-0.