The Natalia Mustangs hit the hardwood last Wednesday as the 2018-2019 season officially tipped off around the state. This season, the Natalia Mustangs will be led by former Natalia Alumni Justin Welsh, who takes over a program that has had more downs than ups over the last 5+ seasons. Welsh is hoping he can begin to turn this program around, to where it once was.
“I am excited about the opportunity to coach a group of young men who are hungry for success,” Coach Welsh said. “A lot of great things are happening here in Natalia and the expectations don’t change from sport to sport. A Championship culture is not just something we say, it is the expectation.”
When it comes to a district title, the last Natalia Mustang team to win one was the 2009-2010 Mustangs led by Coach Alex Nava (now coaching Palo Alto Girls Hoops).
“Right now we have around 11 young men out due to football being in season, but I expect around 30+ out once football concludes,” Welsh said.
Coach Welsh was asked what his philosophy will be on offense and defense this season: “Defensively, we will look to put pressure on opponents in a variety of ways which will hopefully create opportunities on the offensive end,” Welsh said.
According to Welsh, there has been a lot of excitement and the kids are hard at work in practice.
Welsh is a 2007 Natalia graduate as he played under current Natalia Head Girls Coach/Assistant Principal Doug Lum.
Welsh attended UTSA in 2012 and has coached in Yorktown, Pleasanton and Luling before taking the job back in his hometown this season.
The Natalia Mustangs open their season on Tuesday, November 27th at home against the Devine Warhorses. Looking at this season, non-district opponents include Leakey, Pleasanton, Pearsall, Charlotte, George West, Comfort and Carrizo Springs. Non-district tournaments will include one in Pearsall, one in Sabinal and one in Ingram.
This season, the District 30-3A slate of games will be Dilley, Lytle, Jourdanton, Cotulla and Laredo Harmony Science.
“I encourage everyone to come out and show support for our boys and girls basketball programs this season,” Welsh said.
By Eric Smith