DIXFIELD – When the time is right, it’s important to make a decision, and Dennis Hanson is certain he made the correct one. Hanson has taken over as varsity boys’ soccer coach at Dirigo High School.

This position is Hanson’s next step-up in the coaching ranks.

The Dirigo graduate is well-versed in the programs history and is committed to returning it back on top in the Mountain Valley Conference.

“I feel I’ve moved up the ranks of coaching,” Hanson said. “And it’s time for a new challenge. I took time to develop a coaching style that has been very successful in middle school and J.V., and hopefully it will translate to the varsity position. (Dirigo athletic director) Jeff (Turnbull) and I talked a couple years ago about me coaching varsity and I felt I was not ready yet. I’m glad I took the time to grow as a coach.”

Hanson, who earned a Physical Education degree at Huntington College in Indiana in 1999, has certainly paid his dues. He was the head coach for five years at the middle school and served as assistant the last two years at the high school.

“The number one goal is to get the program back to being successful,” Hanson said. “I want the program to get the respect it had in the late 90s.”

Former longtime coach Fred Conlogue was well-respected for running an extremely strong program. The Cougars won an MVC championship in ’99 and have qualified for the playoffs, annually.

The incoming team is currently practicing two nights a week, in an effort to develop unity. They are playing in a summer league with Jay, Livermore Falls, Mountain Valley Valley, and Mt. Abram.

“I let the kids know that I want them to enjoy their summer,” Hanson said. “But at the same time if they want the program to be successful they need to be motivated to improve.”

Hanson also has specific areas to address, regarding style of play and discipline.

“I want the style of play to be very offensive,”Hanson said. “We’ve had problems scoring goals over the past couple years.”

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