A New Era: A stadium with a new look and atmosphere to greet the Millers

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Photo by M. Sebbas

Woods returns to Beaver Materials field, the same place he watched Miller athletics since ’69. While sitting on the bench, he reminisces on all of the games he has watched over the decades.

Mary Sebbas and Gabe Fryling

It’s Friday night, and the stadium’s lights surround the bleachers filled with devout fans. As the Millers run onto the field, the sound of cleats digging into the freshly laid turf doesn’t go unnoticed. Rickie Woods, a member of the Noblesville class of ‘67, hears that noise and almost every other sound in the stadium. In fact, Woods has probably seen it all at Beaver Materials Field. For him, this stadium is more than just a field where football is played, it is where Miller sports are celebrated.

Despite name various changes and remodels to the facilities, Woods has remained a loyal Miller since he graduated from Noblesville High School. He is a consistent supporter at Beaver Materials Field, but this year, Noblesville Schools announced their plan to build a new football stadium and change the location to right behind NHS.

Beaver Materials Field was constructed in 1969, and ever since then, Woods could be found in the stands.  

“After it was built, the bleachers weren’t as big as they are now and we used to walk down the fence and follow the team then go onto the bleachers,” Woods said.

Beaver Field was much different in 1969 than it is today, and the new stadium will include many upgrades, including an increase in seating from 4,200 seats to 6,000.

“Beaver Materials Field was built in 1969 when the total population of Noblesville was approximately 7,500 people, only 12% of today’s 63,000 residents,” Director of Communications for Noblesville Schools Marnie Cooke said.

Because of the increase in stands, Noblesville athletes say that they are more than excited to experience the new playing atmosphere.

“I don’t know if it’s gonna be ready for next football season but if it is, the atmosphere will be pretty crazy and it’s going to help us at home games a lot,” varsity football player Jacob Long said.

The new stadium will also include many features that Beaver Materials Field did not have, which Woods and the players alike are excited for.

“I really like it being right behind the school,” Woods said. “The football field will allow more scheduling, there was a lot of scheduling conflict [at Beaver Materials Field] and that will make all of the teams better.”

Although the Millers will have to adjust to a new location, the field will be utilized for a variety of sporting events.

“The new multipurpose stadium is very versatile,” Athletic Director Leah Wooldridge said. “It can be used for football, band, track and field, rugby, lacrosse, and physical education classes. With the two practice fields in front, it really adds a lot of space for various uses.”

The new field will also include many more parking opportunities in hopes to decrease traffic for Miller fans.

“Additional parking on-site is part of the construction plan and people will also be able to park in high school lots,” Cooke said. “The location is also safer since athletes and band students don’t have to cross a street to enter the stadium from the high school.

Because Noblesville athletics will now have access to two different fields, it will give much more time for not only football players, but also band members to practice.

“I went to watch a football practice and the band practiced afterwards,” Woods said. “It’s unreal what they have to do to get ready to practice and they won’t have to wait until after football now. They can practice while football is practicing.”

This new football stadium is not the only change for Miller athletics this year, as Dave Sharpe recently accepted the position for head coach of the Noblesville High School Football team.

“I just moved to the community, my two daughters are enrolled in the district, and it really feels like home. I love the kids we have on the team,” Sharpe said. “They are so passionate about football.”

Sharpe is happy to adopt a new field in the future, and welcomes the idea of having a field closer to Noblesville High School.

“The new stadium is going to be awesome.  It will be so nice to have our own place right on campus,” Sharpe said. “Our attitude as a team is amazing.  They are practicing with tenacity so they can make our town proud on Friday nights.”

Although these changes are happening, Woods can always be counted on to be at the games, supporting the Millers through their highs and lows.

“I enjoy supporting the kids,” Woods said. “I like to let them know that I’m there for them.”