A team that generated high hopes for its followers and confirmed some of those hopes with a 23-5 record and a forth Egypt Conference Championship.

Although they opened and closed with losses, Coach Walt Kirk, Jr. , led his Wildcats, the “Knights of Marion County”, to 23 victories in the intervening 26 games while winning the NEC title with an 11-1 mark.

After the opening loss, Salem started a string of victories with an 81-66 win over Effingham with four players scoring in double figures led by Ed Perry’s 28 points, and following with a 52-51 win over Mt. Vernon as Jack Moore led with 16 points.

The first “big” weekend found the Wildcats splitting with Lawrenceville and Centralia, suffering their only conference loss at Lawrenceville, 53-50, but beating Centralia the next night, 69-59. The conference championship hung in the balance later in the year as the Wildcats topped Lawrenceville, 61-52, with four players in double figures led by Paul Densford’s 18. The next night, Salem scored their second win over Mt. Vernon, 53-51 , in two overtimes with Tom Stephens pacing a trio of double-digit scorers with 17 points.

Another double-barreled weekend found Salem beating Mt. Carmel, 67-48, and Centralia, 69-63, and the Wildcats came back the next week with an 89-46 win over Flora to clinch the North Egypt Conference title as Perry scored 30 points, Doug Davidson 19, and Stephens 17.

Despite double-figure scoring by Perry (25), Stephens (19) and Paul Densford (17), Salem lost in the regional final to Centralia, 83-75.

Perry led the scoring with 509 points, followed by P. Densford (330), Moore (317), Stephens (298), Davidson (199) and Charlie Steevens (167) to lead a potent attack that outscored the opposition, 1745-1582.

Post-season honors went to Perry and P. Densford as first team all conference selections, and to Stephens, second team. Perry was voted the team’s MVP award and won the rebounding trophy for the second year. Stephens won the free throw accuracy award with a .682 mark. Steevens was voted “honorary” captain for the season.

Several of the basketball players were key members of the 1955 football team that had a 6-3 record. Ends were Perry and Jerry Forrester. Steevens was the quarterback, completing 61 of 98 passes for 1090 yards. Moore was a halfback, netting 456 yards, and Davidson was a fullback, netting 492 yards, including an 82·yard touchdown against Lawrenceville. Salem defeated Centralia in the Shrine game, 26-7, for their third victory in four games to take the trophy. Perry set a school record of 31 pass receptions and Forrester caught 18.