james_willhiteA 1971 graduate of Salem Community High School, James Willhite had a highly prolific athletic career.

Willhite participated in four sports during his high school career with football and track the site of his
biggest success.

In football Willhite put up the best numbers ever for a Salem tight end and some of the best yardage numbers ever for Wildcats receivers.

A three-year starter. Willhite caught 23 passes for 513 yards as a junior in the 1969 season. During his senior season Willhite hauled in 25 catches for 421 yards and two touchdowns.

Willhite’s accomplishments led to his selection to the All- North Egypt Conference Team in 1969 and 1970, selection to the All-South Team in 1970 and All-State Special Mention in 1970.

Willhite used many of his football skills for success on the track. His two biggest highlights probably came in his 1970 junior season. Willhite teamed up with Bob Turnage, Dick Kagy and Louie Bryant in the mile relay to set both an NEC and school record with a time of 3:31.

A few days later Willhite teamed up with Bob Carter, Randy Brown and Bryant in the 880-yard relay and finished second in the district meet. That earned them a trip to the state meet.

Willhite was also a solid basketball player for the Wildcats. He led the team in rebounding two years and shared the team’s Best Defensive Player Award for his senior season.

After completion of his high school career. Willhite continued his football career at both Indian Hills Community College and William Penn College.

In 1975 Willhite served as a student/coach at William Penn. That season William Penn advanced to the NCAA Division II Poultry Bowl.

Willhite has stayed active in sports since high school. He has served as an assistant football coach at Jacksonville High School. He has also coached grade school sports in that area of the state.