Colors: black and orange
Stadium: Cheney Alumni Field
State championships: 1975, 1985, 1996, 1999 and 2003
Times worth remembering: Few teams won as consistently for as long as the Mustangs did in the 1970s. For the 11 seasons from 1970-80, NC finished a combined 78-20-1, with the worst record in that span 6-3 marks in 1973 and 1977. Oddly enough, though, the Mustangs only won one state championship in those 11 years.
Times worth forgetting: Losing seasons don’t happen often in west Casper, so what happened in 1990-92 is almost hard to believe. The Mustangs had losing seasons all three of those years, at one point losing 14 consecutive games, as the program transitioned from Mike Ragan to Steve Harshman. Of course, it only took NC two more years to get back into a championship game, and then two more after that to win a title.
Best team: NC has had some great teams, but none were as dominating as the 10-0 state championship team from 1999. The Mustangs outscored opponents by an average of 44-6 and won every regular-season game by at least 35 points. NC had 10 first-team all-state players that season and a record five first-team Casper Star-Tribune Super 25 players.
Biggest win: The Mustangs of the early 1960s were consistent — always solid, always among the top teams in the state, but always an also-ran to Laramie’s rolling dynasty. That all changed on Sept. 13, 1963. Laramie came to Casper with its record 34-game winning streak, but left 28-0 losers to an inspired bunch of Mustangs who let the Plainsmen offense past midfield on only one possession the entire game. NC finished with a 9-0 mark — its first unbeaten season in decades — and its first solo claim on a state championship since 1948.
Heartbreaker: The 1980 Oil Bowl was a clash of unbeatens — 8-0 Natrona vs. 8-0 Kelly Walsh. The winner was the conference champion and earned the right to play in the state championship game; the loser stayed home with an 8-1 record and the nagging question of what might have been. It was NC that stayed home. The Trojans scored on a long touchdown in the first minute and overwhelmed the Mustangs 28-13. KW beat Rock Springs the next week to win the state championship; from there, NC posted three consecutive losing seasons, losing to KW in all three of those seasons, and longtime Mustangs coach Art Hill retired after the last of those in 1983, his last, best chance at a championship denied by that one Oil Bowl loss in ’80.