Special recognition to the following players from Indiana:
1. Femi Hollinger-Janzen Sr. Bethany Christian, Ind.
2. Devon Orben Sr. Columbus North, Ind. (94 - Olympic Development program)
Devon Orben, Columbus North Senior soccer star did not expect to be recognized by the NSCAA.
"I was surprised initially." Devon Orber said. "It means a lot. It is a great recognition"
Orben made it clear that it wasn’t an individual honor. Without the Bull Dogs advancing to the IHSAA State Finals this season, Orben believes he would not have been one of 28 midfielders chosen for the award.
“I was delighted to see that Devon’s hard work has been recognized,” North coach Andy Glover said.
Devor Orber knew that it was not an individual work. “I couldn’t have done it without the help of my teammates or without coach Glover,” he said. “We all helped push each other and coach Glover was the foundation for all of it.”
Orben played alongside fellow seniors Nathan Kaplan, Alex Kaiser, Cameron Robertson, Eric Perry, John Basile and Andy Conrad for the past decade. The group made it to the State Finals in 2009 and again this season when it advanced to the state championship game.
“It was a great senior year,” Orben said. “Our sophomore year, we made it to the Final Four. We all looked at each other and said, ‘We have to come back our senior year.’ We all put in a great amount of effort to make it happen. It was a great way to go out.”
The Bull Dogs scored 58 goals and surrendered only 13 during a 19-4-2 season. As a midfielder who controlled possession, Orben was part of both the offensive and defensive success.
“Good things happen when Devon is on the ball,” Glover said.
“This was one of the more competitive teams I’ve ever played on,” Orben said. “We were solid everywhere.”
Glover believes that Orben’s impact on the North soccer program will continue to be felt, even as Orben moves on to college.
“Devon’s a fine reflection of the aims of Columbus North soccer,” Glover said. “Furthermore, he has represented his school and community with class and dignity. He’s not only a top-class athlete, but a wonderfully accomplished student. He gets it done on the pitch and in the classroom, and he has served as a role model for our young players.
“He is a model of what the framework put in place at Columbus North can produce.”
Orben will continue his soccer career this fall at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He signed Wednesday to be a part of the first class under first-year coach Isano Jacobson, who takes over a program that finished last season 6-10-2.
Orben, who will likely major in medical services or business, said he knew right away that the Indianapolis school and Jacobson were the right fit for him.
“I want to make an impact on a brand-new team. That was something that was important to me,” he said. “I really like the school. I wanted to go to a school in a metropolitan area with a bigger size campus. I knew when I visited (IUPUI), it was the school for me.”
“I think he’ll do a fantastic job at IUPUI,” Glover said. “He has created a wonderful opportunity for himself. He should make some contributions right from the get-go.”
Orben will graduate this spring and is looking forward to the next step in his life.
“I think every high school kid is looking forward to getting on to college,” he said. “I’m going to miss some of the people from high school, but I’m definitely ready for the new challenge at the next level.”
See list of all awards: NSCAA AWARDS
This article is provided by SoccerAmericaDaily.
[AWARDS] Five seniors -- Andrew Harris (Gilman School, Md.), Sanford Spivey (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Donovan Fraser (Half Hollow Hills West, N.Y.), Michael Gamble (McDonough, Md.) and Drew White (Camas, Wash.) -- earned honors for the second consecutive year on the 2011 NSCAA High School Boys All-America Team. For the complete All-America Team.