bill_hooksLettering three years in football, Bill Hooks had an exceptional year his senior season for the Salem Community High School football Wildcats, helping Salem to an 8-1 record. Hooks, attended Grinnell College in Iowa after graduation from high school, where he played two years of football.

He was the principal ball carrier on the 1946 Wildcat team, netting 1593 yards from scrimmage, scoring 22 touchdowns and kicking four extra points. He had two 5-touchdown games, one against Mt. Carmel which Salem won 73-0, and one against Olney in a 52-0 Salem victory. The 1946 Wildcats posted an 8-1 record, outscoring their opponents 21625, and out-gaining them from Scrimmage, 2594 yards to 1052. The only loss was 13-0 to Flora.

Hooks was an All-North Egypt Conference selection his senior year and gained All-State Special Mention. He had been an All-State honorable mention selectee his junior year. He was a fast, explosive runner, breaking for many long runs in his career. He also played defensive halfback. In 1947, he was named to the National Star Athletes Society, nominated by Athletic Director, M.E. Lenich.

As a junior, paired with Hall of Famer Howard “Bud” Wagoner, Hooks gained 850 yards and scored 10 touchdowns on a team that posted an 8-2 record. Also lettering as a sophomore, he was on the 8-1 NEC championship team with Hall of Fame members Jim Finks and Wagoner.

Hooks was also a mainstay on Salem’s championship track teams of 1946 and 1947. Salem won back-to-back NEC championships those years. He won the 100-yard dash title as a junior and was second by a split second in 1947. He won the conference long jump title in 1947 and anchored the 880-yard relay team.