SEARSPORT — For the third time in four seasons, the Searsport District High School girls varsity soccer team will begin the campaign with a new coach.

That is after seasoned middle school coach Dustin Nadeau was named the team’s new coach earlier this month.

Nadeau replaces Bri Ellis, who guided the Vikings two seasons. Prior to Ellis, Amber Stanhope led the squad one year.

The 43-year-old Nadeau, originally from Fort Kent, is a 1996 SDHS graduate, where he played soccer, basketball and baseball for the Vikings.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to support these students, provide them an outlet and a fun environment to learn and grow in whatever their individual soccer goals are and help them succeed in whatever level of competition they want to go for,” said Nadeau.

He then attended Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, where he pursued a degree in outdoor recreational business management. He also played intramural rugby during his time at PSU.

And he is far from an unfamiliar coach for the majority of Viking student-athletes.

“All the girls on this team, with the exception of three of them, I’ve coached in either soccer or softball. I was the middle school coach in both and I’ve also coached coed for the middle school [two years ago],” Nadeau said.

He also previously coached “about 100 kids in the rec program between myself and three other coaches” at the Searsport Recreation Department.

Nadeau said he already is impressed with the players in practice speaking up, voicing their own ideas and showcasing “a high level of engagement.”

“They want to work and they want to get better,” he said. “We’ve got kids speaking up and saying, ‘These are the things we really want to work on’ drawing from past experience and that’s been really good.”

He added while the team lost significant seniors and there will be roster turnover, “they’re going to get there.”

“I feel really optimistic about it,” he said. “If their work ethic and effort is any indication of what the season is going to be, I feel really strongly that we’re going to be competitive in every game that we play.”

Nadeau lives in Searsport with his wife of 22 years, Heather, and two children, Lily and Bay. He is employed at Athena Health.