Mustangs land 21 on All-District teams

Twenty-one Varsity Mustangs were named to District 15-3A All-District teams.

The Natalia Mustangs’ outstanding team success translated to personal acclaim for 21 players who were named to the District 15-3A All-District team.
“Obviously we are very excited with how the All-District meeting went,” Head Coach Chad Graves said. “This has been the most All-District selections we have had in the previous five years combined. It just shows that our kids performed at a high level.”
Running back Ray Rizo and linebacker Caden Fregia brought home the top awards, claiming Offensive MVP and Defensive MVP.
Rizo had 2,289 total yards and 25 touchdowns on the season. Rizo was the featured back, collecting 1,900 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns on 209 carries, while catching 23 passes for 310 yards and four touchdowns. He also threw a 79-yard touchdown pass.
Fregia had 22 solo tackles and assisted on another 26. He also had three interceptions, returned for a total of 82 yards and one touchdown, hurried the QB once, and broke up an additional six passes.
Fregia, quarterback Dustin Richardson, wide receiver Jeramiah Castro, and offensive linemen Peter Billalobos and Oscar Ramirez were named to 1st Team Offense.
Fregia had 604 total yards, including 310 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 55 carries, and 294 receiving yards on 20 catches.
Richardson had 1,337 total yards. He completed 90 of 135 passing attempts, a 67% completion rate, for 1,244 yards and eight touchdowns, and also rushed 43 times for 93 yards and a touchdown. Richardson finished the season with a QB rating of 100.4.
Castro had 16 receptions for 235 yards and a touchdown in just eight games. He also had 14 punt return yards and 13 kick return yards.
Defensive back Manny Padilla, linebackers Isaiah Gomez and Demetre Perez, and defensive linemen Kameron Frias and Matthew Manka were named 1st Team Defense.
Padilla had 41 solo tackles and assisted on 29 more, caused two fumbles and recovered one, pulled in one interception, and broke up nine passes.
Perez had 65 solo tackles and 39 assists, caused one fumble, had two QB hurries, and broke up two passes.
Gomez 39 solo tackles and assisted with 53, caused and recovered three fumbles for five yards, hurried the QB once, and broke up two passes.
Manka had 26 solo tackles, 28 assists, and five QB hurries.
Frias had 20 solo tackles, 24 assists, and three QB hurries in just eight games.
Wide receivers Nikolai Patino and Diego Zapata, and offensive linemen Matthew Billalobos, Chance Lamb, and Victor Cruz were named 2nd Team Offense.
Zapata had 159 yards and a touchdown on six receptions, and also returned six kickoffs for 135 yards.
Patino had 154 yards and a touchdown on six receptions, and returned two kickoffs for 27 yards.
Zapata, O. Ramirez, defensive backs Ryan Juarez and Matthew Contreras, and defensive lineman Michael Martinez were named 2nd Team Defense.
O. Ramirez had 24 solo tackles and 36 assists, five QB hurries, and well as one interception for three yards.
Juarez had 29 solo tackles and 16 assists, forced two fumbles, recovered one, and broke up one pass.
Contreras had 28 solo tackles and 22 assists, caused one fumble, pulled in four interceptions for 30 yards, and broke up three passes.
Zapata had 30 solo tackles and 13 assists, two interceptions for 57 yards, and broke up six passes.
Honorable Mention went to Patino, Cruz, wide receiver Thomas Lara, and offensive lineman Daniel Ramirez.
As a defensive back, Patino had 12 solo tackles and nine assists, caused and recovered one fumble, and broke up one pass.
Lara had two receptions for six yards in eight games.
Cruz had five solo tackles and 14 assists in just five games.
“The really neat thing is that our kids work hard year round,” Graves said. “They have always put in the work in the off season and that has always carried over into the summer.”
“As a staff, we are very excited they have been recognized for their efforts.”
By Marly Davis
Staff Writer