Recognized as one of the top football teams in SCHS history, the 1946 Wildcats inducted in 1993 compiled an 8-1 record, outscored their opponents 216-25 and rolled up 2,594 yards from scrimmage. The Wildcats finished second in the North Egypt Conference, losing to Flora, 12-0, in the third game of the season. The only other scores against the Wildcats were in the 13-6 opening win at Lawrenceville and in the closing 20-7 win over Mt. Vernon.

With a strong line of Bud Alderson and Arlin Wade at tackle; Bill Chance and Richard Laney at guard; and Glenn Holler at center, the Wildcats had the protection to unleash the speed of Bill Hooks who scored 22 touchdowns, and the power of Gay Thomason and Carle Blackwell to dominate their opponents.

rod_wellsRod Wells, a three-sport star at Salem Community High School, rushed for 1119 yards in two years with the varsity Wildcats, averaged nearly 11 points per game his senior year in basketball, and was outstanding in the low hurdles in track.

A 1960 graduate of SCHS, he received an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs and was sixth in his graduating class in 1964. While at the Air Force Academy, he played freshman football and ended his football activity in his sophomore year after a broken collar bone and two separated shoulders.

In football his senior year in high school, he carried the ball 121 times for 742 yards, having exceptional games against Flora with 113 yards in a 40-12 victory, against Olney with 179 yards in a 25-19 win; and against Bridgeport with 92 yards in a 39-13 victory.

charles_parkerA former captain of the Southern Illinois University football team who earned two high school varsity letters and two varsity letters at SIU, Charles “Bud” Parker was one of the kingpins of the line of the Salem team that earned a H-l record in 1949 to gain the co-championship of the North Egypt Conference.

An all-state honorable mention in 1949, Parker helped anchor the middle of the Salem line with Bob Bishop, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee, and Earl Justice.

Parker played football all four years at SIU and lettered with the varsity his junior and senior years. As a 5-9, 169-pound lineman, he was chosen the Salukis’ captain his senior year. Ironically, he teamed in the line with Ron Bishop, brother of Bob. Ron Bishop had graduated from Bridgeport High School after the family moved from the Salem area.

jerry_mercerA hard-throwing right-hander who made sports history with five no-hitters, four in succession, Jerry Mercer led the Salem baseball team to a North Egypt Conference championship and to the sectional finals in the state elimination series. Mercer graduated from Salem Community High School in 1956.

Mercer, who had an 11-0 record in regular season action, opened with a 4-0, no-hit victory over Vandalia, striking out 18 batters. He walked one batter that game and then promptly picked him off at first. He next recorded an 8-0 no-hitter over Lawrenceville, also fanning 18. Then came a no-hit, 11-0 win over Centralia, with 13 strikeouts, and a 13-0 no-hitter over Olney, with 10 strikeouts. Both of those games were five-inning affairs. National recognition came after the fourth no-hitter with a two-page spread in Life magazine.

bill_chanceA stalwart in the line of the Salem Wildcats North Egypt Conference football champion team of 1947 and the near-miss team of 1946, Bill Chance lettered in football, basketball and track at Salem Community High School.

He was a starting guard on the 1946 team that compiled an 8-1 record and on the 1947 championship team that went through the league schedule 6-0. He was an all-conference selection that year.

Chance was a member of the 1947-48 SCHS basketball team that compiled a 27-3 record and won the NEC championship with an 11-1 record.

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