Four Rangers to Play in December Bowl Games
December 10, 2013
SENATOBIA – The success of Northwest football continues to show at the next level, as four former Rangers will be making appearances in FBS bowl games this December for Texas, East Carolina, Louisiana-Lafayette and Middle Tennessee State.
Former First Team All-American left tackle Donald Hawkins and Texas (8-4) will be playing in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Monday, Dec. 30 against No. 10 Oregon (10-2). The Longhorns are averaging better than 423 yards per game, including 197.6 (36th in FBS) on the ground. Kickoff is set for 5:45 on ESPN.
Former All-American return specialist and wide receiver Lance Ray will be taking the field for East Carolina (9-3) against Ohio (7-5) on Tuesday, Dec. 23. Ray has 28 catches for 237 yards and three TDs and has 22 kick returns for 553 yards (25.1 avg). The two teams will meet in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl at 1 p.m. on ESPN.
Offensive lineman Terry Johnson and UL-Lafayette (8-4) will face Tulane (7-5) in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. on ESPN. The Ragin' Cajuns are 26th in the nation in rushing yards/game with 207.6 and average better than 424/game of total offense.
Wide receiver Marcus Henry and Middle Tennessee State (8-4) will face Navy (7-4) in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on Monday, Dec. 30 at 10:45 a.m. on ESPN. Henry is second on the team in receiving with 36 catches for 528 yards and three TDs, including a 93-yard score against UAB.
Former Ranger and Independence native, Hugh Freeze, head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels (7-5), will face Georgia Tech (7-5) in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl on Monday, Dec. 30 at 2:15 on ESPN.
Former Ranger LB Desmond LaVelle and DL Jerome McClain helped South Alabama to bowl eligibility at 6-6 overall as well as former defensive end Brandon Timmons at Troy University (6-6). LaVelle had 27 tackles, 2 TFL, a sack and a breakup, while McClain had 34 tackles, 4.5 TFL, three sacks and a hurry. Timmons had eight tackles, TFL and a breakup in five games.
Offensive lineman and former NJCAA Second Team All-American Austin Douglas and Northwestern State finished 6-6 overall with a 40-27 win over SFA in the season finale.
A wide receiver turned defensive back, Camaren Harris and UT-Martin closed the year 7-5 overall and 5-3 in the OVC to mark a third winning season in the last four years. Harris finished with 51 tackles (43 solo), a TFL, four interceptions and 12 breakups.
Defensive back Aaron Thompson played in 11 games (two starts) for the 9-3 Faulkner Eagles, finishing the year with 10 tackles, four blocked kicks and an interception.
Linebacker Demarcus Pegues finished with 27 tackles and 3 TFL for Mississippi Valley State.
The success of Northwest football continues to show at the next level, with 48 former Rangers inking with four-year schools in the last six years alone (13 FBS signees).
Cody Reed Has Jersey Retired at Horn Lake
November 22, 2013
HORN LAKE – Former Northwest All-American left-hander Cody Reed had his No. 24 jersey retired at Horn Lake High School Thursday night at halftime of the women's basketball game.
Reed played for head coach Brad Meadows at Horn Lake and was a two-time all-conference nod and three-time selection as the team's Best Pitcher. He went 5-3 with a save and 2.72 ERA in 10 appearances as a senior.
Reed's jersey will be displayed prominently on the same wall as former Eagle/Ranger and current assistant baseball coach, Bill Selby, who enjoyed a 14-year career in professional baseball with the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox organizations.
Reed played the 2012-13 seasons at Northwest and was a two-time First Team All-MACJC selection, 2013 NJCAA All-Region 23 choice and NJCAA Third Team All-American. Reed ended his career as the school's all-time leader in strikeouts (161), wins (16), innings pitched (137.2), batters faced (601), starts (23) and shutouts (five) and was second in complete games (10) and third in opponent batting average (.219).
The 46th overall pick in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Kansas City Royals, Reed is the highest draft choice in Northwest baseball history and the 10th-highest in MACJC history. He was one of four Rangers drafted in 2013 along with Jordan Barnes, Tanner Cable and Charley Sullivan.
Reed spent the short season in Class A Idaho Falls and helped the Chukars to their first-ever Pioneer League Championship as an affiliate of the Royals. Reed appeared in 15 games (six starts) and went 0-1 with a 6.07 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 29.2 innings of work.
Brad LaPlante Out as Head Football Coach at Northwest
October 29, 2013
SENATOBIA – Brad LaPlante has been relieved of his duties as head football coach, college officials announced Tuesday.
LaPlante and his staff were informed this morning by athletic director Cameron Blount that they would not be retained for next season.
"Everyone who's been around Northwest football knows that we have a rich tradition of winning and this season did not live up to our standards," president Dr. Gary Lee Spears said.
Northwest went 1-8 this season and finished tied for last in the north division, with its lone win coming over Coahoma, 38-23.
A search for a new head coach will begin immediately.
Baker Hits Milestone in Season-Ending Loss at #4 Jones
October 27, 2013
ELLISVILLE – Sophomore running back Damian Baker, on the final play from scrimmage, rushed for nine yards to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark in his career and provided the lone bright spot in a 52-3 loss at 4th-ranked Jones County on Saturday at Bobcat Stadium.
The Bobcats jumped out to an early 21-0 lead with 6:15 left in the first quarter and cruised the rest of the way in piling up 422 yards of offense to earn a lopsided Homecoming victory.
Trailing 35-0 midway through the third quarter, Northwest got on the scoreboard thanks to a 20-yard field goal by Matt Bratton, the first of his Ranger career.
Entering the second half, Baker needed 74 yards to become just the fifth Ranger in school history to hit the 2,000-yard milestone and it surely didn't come without some last-minute help.
With just over 2 minutes left in the game and JCJC keeping the ball on the ground to run out the clock, Northwest called consecutive timeouts in the final minute to get the ball back. Baker and the Rangers took over with 36 seconds left and his first carry went for nine yards around the right side which pushed him over the mark.
Baker finished the day with 24 carries for 124 yards (ninth career 100-yard game) and ends his Northwest career third all-time in rushing yards/game (105.4) and rush attempts (355), fifth in yards (2,002) and sixth in rushing TDs (15).
Karsten Miller finished 6-of-17 for 59 yards, an interception and four sacks before being sidelined in the second half with an injury. Kyle Morgan closed the game 5-of-9 for 35 yards with two interceptions.
Defensively, Terrell White had his third consecutive double digit tackle outing, leading the Rangers with 10 stops to give him a team-best 76 on the season. Brandon Mack had two interceptions to go along with his four tackles.
Jones County finished the regular season 8-1 and will host Itawamba Nov. 2 as the South's No. 1 seed in the MACJC Tournament, while Northwest's season came to a close at 1-8.
Morgan Wilson Earns Third MACJC Weekly Honor
October 22, 2013
GOODMAN – For a third time this season, Morgan Wilson of Northwest has been selected the MACJC/JUCO Weekly Goalkeeper of the Week for games played Monday, Oct. 14 through Sunday, Oct. 20.
Wilson, a freshman from Southaven (DeSoto Central), went 0-0-2 between the posts in a pair of double overtime draws against Hinds (0-0) and Itawamba (1-1). In 220 minutes, she had a .966 saves percentage and tallied 28 combined saves in the two ties, including a career-high 18 saves and her first shutout of the year against Hinds.
Wilson improved to 5-2-2 on the season with 80 saves, a 1.76 GAA and .816 saves percentage. She started the year as a defender but had to replace injured goalkeeper Ashlee Rogers just three games into the season.
Northwest travels to East Central for its regular season finale on Tuesday. A win, coupled with a Hinds win over Holmes, would mean the Lady Rangers would host the first round of the MACJC State Tournament.