howard_wagonerA triple-threat halfback who lettered in football all four years at SCHS, Howard “Bud” Wagoner, was inducted into the Salem High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.

A 1946 graduate of SCHS, Wagoner was the key running back on the Salem team that posted an 8-2 record, outscoring their opponents 273-60. Salem, conference champions in 1943 and 1944, missed a third straight NEC title by only a 7-6 loss to Flora.

Wagoner’s team leading 171 points in 1945 was the second highest total in the State. He scored 25 touchdowns and converted 21 extra points from placement. He also threw six touchdown passes. He carried the ball 196 times, netting 1569 yards for an eight yard average. As a team, the Wildcats gained 3152 yards.

His most outstanding game was against Mt. Carmel, scoring five touchdowns and four extra points and rushing for 341 yards on 21 carries for an astounding average of 16.2 yards per carry. He also threw two touchdown passes and intercepted two Mt Carmel passes in the 40-0 victory.

Wagoner was also a star on defense with his hard, crisp tackles and six intercepted passes, playing defensive halfback. In 1944, on a team that had an 8-1 record, he was paired at running back with Hall of Famer Jim Finks and was the receiver on several of Finks’ passes. In 1943 on a conference championship team with an overall 6-0-1 record, with Hall of Famer Don Wile the main runner, Wagoner shared in the scoring in the 188-0 win over Fairfield with four touchdowns.

In his senior year, while amassing his amazing total, Wagoner was selected to the all North Egypt Conference first team and was named to the Chicago Daily News All-State second team.

Bud married the former Anne Armstrong an SCHS graduate and a former cheerleader.