Athlete of the week: Senior striker seeks to lead Noblesville to third consecutive state title


Noblesville High School boys soccer player Sam Holland, a senior striker, is taking his role as captain to heart.

“I’ve had to become a little more vocal with a younger team,” said Holland, who is one of four captains. “I’ve been trying to push everyone to their limits and make everyone be the best they possibly can to lead to another state championship. I hadn’t really done a lot of leadership (before this season). This year, I’ve taken over that. I’ve been focusing on the team more than myself. I’m trying to get them to work together because success matters more than one person.”

The Millers are seeking their third consecutive Class 3A state title.

“As a senior, the younger guys are looking up to him,” Noblesville coach Kenneth Dollaske said. “As a captain, he is getting everyone else to buy into our program culture and success. We are still figuring out who works well with Sam up top. We are young. Our other strikers are a junior, a sophomore and a freshman. He is required to do more offensively as his fellow strikers get up to varsity speed.”

Holland led Noblesville with 13 goals last season. He has seven goals and three assists in the first seven games for the Class 3A No. 2 Millers (4-0-3).

“He has been our offensive workhorse,” Dollaske said. “Even when he isn’t scoring, he is the catalyst that makes our offense go. He has good hold-up play as a striker so other players can make runs off him. His vision is quite good, and he uses his speed so well to beat defenders.”

Holland said freshman Ben Hewitt helps him as a striker. Hewitt has five goals.

Holland said his club season with Indiana Fire helped prepare him for the high school season.

“We went pretty far, winning regionals and nationals,” Holland said. “We were playing a lot harder opponents and it helped me prepare for this.”

Team members are hungry to win another state title.

“When I leave, I want Noblesville to be known as a dynasty, winning three years in a row,” Holland said. “I feel with the talent we have we can pull off another title.”

Holland, who started playing at age 5, wants to play soccer in college but is still searching for the best fit.

Holland played hockey for nine years but gave it up his sophomore year. He said he didn’t want to get hurt in hockey and jeopardize missing his soccer club season and chances for college coaches to see him play.

Favorite subject: Psychology

Favorite athlete: Mike Tyson

Favorite TV show: “Squid Game”

Favorite musician: Future


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