Battery Creek High School has two new faces in charge of its soccer programs.
The Dolphins have tabbed Albert “Butch” Abdelnour as the new girls coach and Rick McElveen as the new boys coach.
On the girls side, Abdelnour replaces Ted Wagner.
“(Wagner) decided not to come back, and we moved on from there,” Battery Creek athletic director John Drafts said.
On the boys side, McElveen replaces John Perry.
Drafts said Perry, who had been with the Dolphins for several years, earned a promotion in his full-time job with the Burton Fire Department and decided to step away.
Abdelnour comes from Vermont, where he retired as a State Police Detective in April.
He said he had planned for some time to “come down for warmth and better taxes.
Though he retired from law enforcement, he has no plans to give up coaching.
“That’s one thing I’ll never retire from,” he said.
In coaching for 13 years, Abdelnour coached at the elementary and middle school level until just two years ago when he was offered the girls soccer job at Proctor High School.
“I wasn’t looking for a job,” he said. “I knew I was leaving in two years. But they wanted me anyway.”
It was a wise decision. Abdelnour led the Phantoms to back-to-back Vermont Division IV state championships.
“I joked at the time, ‘I need to quit now, I’m on top,’” he said.
Abdelnour has had a chance to see most of the Dolphins work during the open season and likes what he sees. He thinks the team, heavy on freshmen and sophomores, will be a good one to work with.
“They have been really hard-working,” Abdelnour said. “I’m impressed with how hard they work and how much they want to do.”
For the boys, Drafts chose McElveen, a Beaufort native.
According to Drafts, McElveen, who is retired, has been involved mainly with PALS, where he’s had “tremendous success.”
In two years at the middle school level at Riverview Charter School, he’s suffered just one loss.
“His name had come up several times in the past as a guy we might be interested in,” Drafts said. “This time the timing was right.”
Both coaches are off campus, Drafts said. Neither are teaching at the high school.
“I think the first impression and the best impression I’ve had is that both hit the ground running,” Drafts said. “Both came in the open season and have had good participation. I’ve been impressed with how they practice so far.”