Northwest Mississippi Community College will enshrine five additional members to the 2021 Northwest Sports Hall of Fame class on Thursday, October 21, as part of the college’s Homecoming ceremonies
This year’s inductees are senior inductee and former men’s basketball standout Jimmy Steward (1961-63), former men’s basketball sharp-shooter Harold Lewis (1985-87), offensive lineman and National Football League veteran Jeff Miller (1991-93), softball pitcher Casey Baddley (2012-13) and former baseball ace and current Major Leaguer Cody Reed (2012-13).
Additionally, Northwest will recognize its Alumnus of the Year Barry Bouchillon (1967-69) during the ceremony, as well as the Golden Circle Recognition for the classes of 1970 and 1971. The event will take place at the David M. Haraway Center on the Senatobia campus at 4 P.M., preceded by a reception at 3 P.M.
JIMMY STEWARD, MEN’S BASKETBALL (1961-63)
Jimmy Steward was a standout during the early years of the Northwest men’s basketball program.
Playing for the legendary coach W.C. “Bill” Oakley, Steward spent two seasons with the Rangers, earning an 11-12 record as a freshman and a 21-6 overall record during his sophomore campaign in 1962-63. Northwest went on to win the North Half and finish as the MACJC runner-ups, falling by only a couple of points to Southwest Mississippi.
Though the exact record books are murky, Steward’s contributions are clear and so are the lifelong impacts from his time at Northwest. The aforementioned 1962-63 team won more games at that time than any previous Ranger team, and it would take nearly 10 more years before that mark was surpassed by Henry B. Koon’s MACJC championship squad (1971-72).
Steward was part of the 1962-63 team that featured names such as Don Allison, John Robbins and Jimmy Green, who Steward credits with “making him a better basketball player.”
In August 1963, Steward married his wife, Betty, and the couple moved to Kinder, La. He worked a construction job there, but would soon return back to Northwest, finishing up his education. He would go on to spend 33 years farming over 2,000 acres of rice, soybeans and wheat, and was also featured in the farm publication “Rice in the Mississippi Delta”.
Whether it was his work or his 58 years of marriage, Steward has never forgotten Northwest or his teammates. He remains in touch with several of his former peers and says he is grateful for the experiences that Northwest gave him.
“I played basketball in high school before Northwest, and I never saw the bond, love and synergy that contributed to all our talents like this team did,” Steward recalls. “The whole town and county came out to see us win, and I am honored to have been such a part of such a great group of men as those on our 1962-63 team.”
Steward has four sons – Jim, Chris, Stephen and Chad, along with 13 grandchildren, three great-grandsons and a great-granddaughter.
HAROLD LEWIS, MEN’S BASKETBALL (1985-87)
For two years, Harold Lewis was an unstoppable force for the Northwest men’s basketball program.
Lewis played two seasons on the hardwood for the Rangers from 1985-87, leading the team in scoring during both of those seasons. He was one of many star players to come through Northwest during the tenure of all-time winningest coach, Kenneth “Cat” Robbins.
As a freshman, Lewis and the Rangers finished with a 10-win season and earned a postseason appearance, before earning a 13-11 overall record during his sophomore season in 1986-87. It was during his sophomore campaign where he averaged 28 points per game and collected a total of 532 points for the season.
Before lighting up the court at Northwest, the Como native graduated from North Panola High School in the spring of 1985. During his stellar high school career, he led the state in scoring as a junior and was second his senior season. Both seasons he and North Jones High School star Kenny Payne, who later played for the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, were nose-to-nose in scoring with each game.
After Northwest, Lewis played and coached a traveling semi-pro basketball team for many years, organizing games with other Mid-South teams for exhibition games that raised thousands of dollars for schools and charities.
Lewis returned to North Panola School District as maintenance director where he also coached junior high basketball, served as Chief of Police on campus and drove buses. He retired from the school district in 2003 after 18 years.
Lewis also had a long law enforcement career, working dual jobs for many years. He worked for the police departments of Como and Sardis and for the Panola County Sheriff’s Department.
After retirement from law enforcement in 2019, Lewis now drives transport trucks. He has four daughters, a son, and eight grandchildren. He enjoys riding his motorcycle, fishing, and spending time with family in his free time.
In 2019 Lewis ran for Ward 1 Supervisor in Panola County, coming up short against a longtime incumbent. With an eye for improvements to his native Como area, Lewis said he may seek the office again in future elections.
His favorite memory from his time as a Ranger came from a tournament game at Coahoma Community College.
“We were playing for the North Half and I put up 46 that night,” Lewis said. “It seemed like the basket was big as the ocean and we won the game. It was an exciting game and we had a great night. I had a great time at Northwest and made so many lifelong friends. Northwest definitely made me a better man and set me on the right track for my life.”
JEFF MILLER, FOOTBALL (1991-92)
In 1991 and 1992, Northwest fielded one of the best football teams in the nation and Jeff Miller was a big reason why.
A native of Vero Beach, Fla., Miller started 10 games on the offensive line during his 1991 freshman season with Northwest, earning Honorable Mention All-American recognition. That season, coach Bobby Franklin guided the Rangers to an 11-1-1 overall record, the MACJC Championship and a runner-up finish in the Mid-America Bowl against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.
In 1992, the Rangers captured their second national championship thanks in part to the efforts of Miller and the offensive line. Northwest finished with a perfect 13-0 record and captured the Mid-America Bowl title, shutting out Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, 34-0, on a snowy December day in Tulsa.
Along with many of his teammates, Miller racked up several honors during his sophomore season, including First Team All-MACJC, NJCAA All-Region 23 and Second Team NJCAA All-American accolades. He soon caught the attention of Ole Miss, where he spent his next two years continuing his athletic and academic careers.
Starring under coaches Billy Brewer and Joe Lee Dunn while at Ole Miss, Miller had a stellar career in the Southeastern Conference and was named a team captain ahead of his 1994 senior season. Following his final season in Oxford, Miller was named Second Team All-SEC and was taken in the fourth round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.
Miller’s professional football career included a two-year stint with the Packers and one season with the Washington Football Team. He also played overseas in the NFL Europe with the Berlin Thunder.
During his NFL career, Miller married his wife, the former Tarsha Nelson of Yazoo City. The couple have been married for 26 years and have three sons, Jeff Miller, Jr. and twins, Justin and Justice. Today, the Millers live in Riverview, Fla., where Jeff works as an Athletic Specialist of Youth Sports for the Hillsborough County Recreation Department.
CASEY BADDLEY, SOFTBALL (2012-13)
During the program’s short history, many student-athletes have etched their names into the softball record books at Northwest. Casey Baddley is one of those names.
A native of Nesbit and a product of a strong DeSoto Central softball program, Baddley made a name for herself both at the plate and in the circle as part of two playoff teams from 2012-13. She quickly gained national attention during her freshman season, earning NJCAA Division II Pitcher of the Week honors less than a month into the season, paving the way for First Team MACJC and Region 23 selections.
Baddley’s 2012 season was a stellar one, as she finished 17-4 in the circle with a 1.47 ERA. She tossed 17 complete games in 22 starts and threw nine shutouts, while also garnering 99 strikeouts against 35 walks in 128.1 innings of work. On April 18 of that year, Baddley recorded her first collegiate save at Holmes, throwing three shutout innings.
Her dominance extended to the plate as well, where she hit .319 with four doubles and 17 RBIs, while scoring 20 runs. Baddley set a single-season school record with 16 hit-by-pitches and also laid down 12 sacrifice hits, which is second in a single-season. In the field, she carried a .994 fielding percentage with just one error in 173 chances.
Baddley was one of several factors that led coach Mike Rowan’s team to a 30-win season and a runner-up finish in the MACJC North Division. The Rangers led the nation with a .967 team fielding percentage, due in part to Baddley’s efforts.
Northwest had another solid season in 2013, as the Rangers finished 27-13 overall in Baddley’s sophomore campaign. She led the team with a .391 batting average, five doubles, four home runs and 26 RBIs, while also setting a new school record with her 27 career hit-by-pitches. In the circle, she completed a 12-6 record with a 2.35 ERA, 11 complete games, six shutouts and 105 strikeouts.
Following her Northwest days, Baddley hung up the cleats and continued her academic studies at the University of Mississippi, where she graduated in 2016 with her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. While at Ole Miss, she served as the president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and a member of Tau Beta Pi.
After leaving Ole Miss, Baddley worked as a process engineer and superintendent for a paper mill in Louisiana and is currently the Rail Program Manager at a manufacturing plant in Memphis. She is also working on a Master of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi and will graduate in December 2021.
Baddley resides in Olive Branch with her husband, Jon. In her free time, she enjoys visiting breweries, riding her bicycle and attending college sporting events.
CODY REED, BASEBALL (2012-13)
From the moment he arrived on campus, former Northwest pitcher Cody Reed began leaving his mark on the Rangers’ baseball program.
After a stellar prep career at Horn Lake High School, in which he was a two-time all-conference selection, Reed found his way to Northwest and immediately worked his way into the starting rotation as a freshman. He made 13 appearances on the mound with the Rangers during the 2012 season, earning 11 starts and compiling an 8-2 record with a 2.94 ERA.
Reed’s freshman season caught the attention of other teams in the MACJC, as he was voted First Team All-MACJC after leading the Rangers in strikeouts (65), innings pitched (64.1), complete games (five) and shutouts (three). However, perhaps his most notable accomplishment came in a 10-0 victory at Mississippi Delta on March 31, where he struck out five batters and tossed his first-career no-hitter.
Reed did not disappoint in his highly-anticipated sophomore campaign in 2013, as he went 8-3 in 12 starts with a 2.39 ERA, five complete games, two shutouts and two combined shutouts. He shattered numerous records during his final season in a Northwest uniform, including a new single-season school record of 96 strikeouts, while also finishing as the Rangers’ all-time leader in strikeouts (161), wins (16), innings pitched (137.2), batters faced (601), starts (23) and shutouts (five). Additionally, he also ranks second in career complete games (10) and third in opponent batting average (.219).
For his efforts, Reed was voted MACJC Pitcher of the Week three times and received Third Team All-American honors from the NJCAA, along with First Team honors from the MACJC and Region 23.
Although he had already signed with Ole Miss, Reed’s path from Senatobia led him straight into the pros as he was taken in the second round of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft by the Kansas City Royals, becoming Northwest’s highest-ever draft pick.
Once in the Royals’ organization, Reed began inching his way up through the minor leagues, first excelling with the Idaho Falls Chukars at the former Rookie level and then moving up to the Class A Lexington Legends in 2014. Reed worked further up the ranks in 2015, starting with the Royals’ Class-A Advanced affiliate in Wilmington, Del., where he was named as the starting pitcher in the Carolina-California League All-Star Game.
Following his appearance in the game, Reed was promoted to the Double-A level with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. His stay was short-lived however, as he was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds as part of a blockbuster trade for Johnny Cueto on July 26, 2015. The change did little to hamper Reed’s momentum, as he quickly moved up to the Triple-A level with the Louisville Bats, officially arriving at the highest level of Minor League Baseball.
Just before his scheduled appearance in the 2015 Texas League All-Star Game, Reed was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds organization as part of the blockbuster trade for Johnny Cueto. The change did little to hamper Reed’s momentum, as he moved up to the Triple-A level the following season with the Louisville Bats, officially arriving at the highest level of Minor League Baseball.
After opening the 2016 season with the Bats, Reed’s major league dream finally came true later that summer, as he was called up to join the Reds for a weekend series on the road against the Houston Astros. In his major league debut on June 18, Reed struck out nine batters and surrendered six hits over a seven-inning span.
Over the next couple of seasons, Reed bounced between the Reds and their Louisville Triple-A affiliate. He earned his first major league victory on September 20, 2018, in a 4-2 against the Miami Marlins, striking out six batters in six shutout innings.
In August 2020, Reed was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays and pitched 2.2 scoreless innings with the franchise to close out the regular season. He remains with the Rays today and has his jersey retired at Horn Lake High School.
DeSoto County News Service – News Release