Natalia Alumni and lifelong resident Sam Smith was honored last Friday night for being the “Voice of the Natalia Football Team” for 50 years! The 73-year-old, lifelong fan, former school board member and current City Council Member (25+ years) did the honorary coin flip for the kickoff to Devine vs. Natalia, before the Mustangs presented Smith with a signed helmet honoring his dedication to the program and town.
Smith has been attending Natalia sporting events since the late 60s following his graduation. He was born in 1950 on a family farm out near the Chacon lake area. He was one of six children to attend the Natalia Schools. He played all sports including football, where he was the QB for the Mustangs his junior and senior year including being named all-district as well as all-state his senior year.
He also played catcher in baseball, played basketball and ran track including a regional appearance by winning district in pole vault.
Following graduation, he went into the Air Force Reserves for six years (1969-1975) while also joining the San Antonio Fire Department in 1969 retiring in 2003. He went on to serve as a fireman at Boeing and finished as the Fire Chief there after 10+ years.
He married his sweetheart Trudy Thompson in 1971 and had two children (Eric and Holly) followed by four grandkids and one who watches from above. They were married for 49 years and 9 months prior to her passing in the summer of 2021 after a battle with Cancer and a Chronic Lung Disease. These two, were known to attend most away and nearly all Natalia home events, no matter the sport.
The Volleyball Tourney in Natalia is named in his late wife’s honor.
“It has been my honor to announce Friday nights since 1973,” Smith said. “There have been a number of memorable games and I look forward to doing many more in the years to come, as long as the Lord continues to be good to me and Coach Martinez allows me,” Smith said.
Natalia Athletics would like to thank Smith for his continued dedication to the district and community for 50 years.