Back in early August, the Indiana Preps team honored the states’ top football players heading into the Fall 2021 season. Many household names in attendance. Among the all state caliber players stood Noble Johnson. Playing for a new program, not many recognized who Johnson was. Although he’s received all state honors. Almost no one knew what the Parke Heritage standout was on the cusp of for the 2021 season. Johnson was named to the Indiana Preps Preseason Small School All State Top 22 list and his performance this season so far, has all but guaranteed him a spot for our postseason list.
In their fourth year of existence, the Parke Heritage football program captured their first sectional title after coming up short in three tries. It was a historical night for the program and Johnson. It was a catch 270 made in the end zone that gave Johnson the record for Indiana’s all time career receptions. Not a record he was technically aware of according to his mother Kristy Thomann. “I knew he was close but didn’t know how close till after the game” said Thomann. She followed up with “All eyes have been on the receiving yards here lately because he had just become 4th and broke 4,000 yard mark”. Following Friday’s game, Johnson is now within 192 yards receiving from surpassing David Bell as the number two all-time receiving yards leader.
Johnson is a three-sport standout at Parke Heritage and most recently decided that football is his future. Having heard from a number of college programs from all levels, the family feels a junior college route may be the best route for Noble to reach his full potential. A family familiar with playing at the next level, it is safe to credit some of his athleticism to his mother Kristy Thomann. Thomann was a standout at North Vermillion high school playing four sports. She went on to play for Indiana State’s women’s basketball program. Noble’s grandfather John Thomann played baseball for Center Grove high school and signed to pitch for the White Sox during his senior year. The elder Thomann went on to play several years in the minor leagues. His younger brother Christian is the quarterback for the Wolves, tossing his older brother the football and being apart of history. Gifted with athleticism, mom says it is Johnson’s hard work, heart and determination that has gotten him to this point in his young career.
Indiana high school football fans are more aware of what is taking place this season in the record books than Johnson. Like his mother, Johnson was unaware of the broken receptions record until after the game. He’s more elated about the programs first sectional championship. “We worked for this accomplishment for four years now, so to finally win this sectional title felt awesome!” said Johnson. When discussing the possibility of topping the career yards list, Johnson calls it an “added bonus” to his career. “Ultimately, my goal now is for our team to continue on our run for state” added Johnson. As you could imagine the senior is not overly concerned about his stats. “I could care less if I caught a single ball, if we continue to win”. This has been the case this season more times than not. Johnson has played multiple spots on offense for the betterment of the team and he’s okay with that. All the records would be his, if the focus was solely on Johnson getting catches.
Johnson and the Wolves are not settling for just a sectional trophy. The young program is vying to knock off perennial power Indianapolis Lutheran in the 1A regional on Friday. Johnson credits the Saints as being a well-coached team with good athletes. When discussing his approach to the game, “our coaches have done a great job all season preparing us each week, so this week is no different”. It’s a matter of “executing the game plan” according to Johnson.
All eyes will be on Johnson, whether its from the Saints’ defensive backs or those counting yards for the record book. Either way, the 2021 season has been a remarkable one for Johnson and the Parke Heritage Wolves.