A Pattern of Success: Senior stars strengthen Noblesville’s men’s soccer


Thomas Whalen and Parker Mutter

You can play the best team in your conference. You can play the best team in your division. You could even play the best team in your state. Or, you could play the best boys soccer team in the country. On September 11th this year, the Noblesville Millers played St.Ignatius, the number one team in the country. Noblesville did lose. Even so, the Millers are otherwise undefeated, and MaxPreps, a nationally used high school sports website, currently ranks them as the second best team in the entire country. Two years ago, Noblesville fell in a semi-state loss, and one year ago, the Millers finished the regular season undefeated before a heartbreaking playoff loss. With another strong campaign this year, the Millers have established a pattern of success.

Led by 13 senior athletes, the Noblesville boys soccer team has kept its recent strength through this season. The senior boys hold a unique position at this point in their careers; most of them have been playing together far longer than high school and their past experience culminates in their current success. Beyond success however, this team has a familial bond beyond the game.

“Our team’s biggest strengths are the chemistry that our boys have,” head coach Kenneth Dollaske said. “We have thirteen seniors on the team, and most of them have been playing together since elementary school. Yeah, they’re all talented individually, but they’re able to work together on the field. They’re in sync, they’ve really just grown up together.”

Most of the senior players started playing club soccer, through independent teams like Indy Premier or Indy Fire, long before their high school careers began.

“We have a certain chemistry with each other. We’ve been playing together, so we understand each player specifically, which makes us strong,” senior Cole Bramblett said.

Bramblett has played the sport for 12 years, beginning at the YMCA, transitioning to NUSC- Noblesville United Soccer Club, and eventually finding his way to Indy Premier. Many of his teammates share similar paths like senior Palmer Ault, playing for NUSC, Indy Premier and, most recently, Indy Fire.

“I think having known almost all of my teammates for so long helps build chemistry,” Ault says, “We oftentimes are able to play a ball where we know someone is going to be just from playing together for so long.”

Ault was recently named an All-American by the United Soccer Coaches. Both Ault and fellow senior Spencer Holland were listed on the first team all-state by the  Indiana Soccer Coaches Association.

“I’ve practiced and practiced to do what I do today,” says Holland, “I’ve never really had a day off and I’ve gotten really lucky with who I can train with to improve myself.”

Through their season, the soccer team practiced Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, playing games on Tuesdays and Thursdays to fill out the week.

“Over time I’ve been able to train individual skills like technical ability and shooting,” explains Ault, “I’ve started to play at a higher pace which forces me to play faster.”

After years playing together on club teams, high school presented a different dynamic for most of this year’s seniors.

“It’s a little interesting with the seniors. Palmer and Spencer were on varsity their freshman year. There were four or five of them that made the JV team, and a couple of them made the freshman team,” Dollaske says, “They were all split among the program, so it’s interesting seeing them unable to play together for a bit. So when they got to freshman year, it was developing chemistry with other players in the program, but sophomore year they got to come back together. They’ve got to come back to this idea of being a unit, being a team.”

Holland knows why the team succeeds and plays the way that they do. 

“Our overall success is from us all doing our part in our success and playing as one, rather than individuals,” says Holland.

Of course, state championships are valuable, but the program has more goals than that.

“Our main goal, we knew we had a talented team. Last year we were ranked number one, and we had our season ended heartbreakingly- so it’s been state championship, that’s our goal. Our main goal is to win a state title,” says Dollaske, “The second goal is to really put the Millers