mike_gibbsA three-sport standout at Salem Community High School, 1964 graduate Mike Gibbs probably made his biggest impact for the Wildcats on the basketball court.

Late in the 1963-64 season Gibbs became the first player in school history to score 1000 points. His career total of 1023 points stood as the school record for 18 years until Jim Gaule broke it in 1982. He led the North Egypt Conference in scoring in both his junior and senior seasons and was an All-NEC First Team pick both years.

During his senior season he averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds a contest, both team highs. Those accomplishments led to Special Mention to the Champaign News Gazette All-State team.

The 1956 Salem Wildcats baseball team had one of the most complete squads in school history with strong pitching, a potent offense and sharp defense.

That combination spelled one of the best seasons in school history. The Wildcats won their third straight North Egypt Conference championship with a 5-0-1 mark. Their 16-1-1 overall mark set a school record for wins in a season. Salem won its second regional championship that season and advanced to the sectional finals for the first time.

Outside of a 3-3 tie against Fairfield, the Wildcats cruised by the rest of their NEC competition. Salem outscored their other five league opponents by a combined 45-2.

The sports cliche defense wins championships applies to the 1952 Salem Wildcats football team.

While Salem did not have an overpowering offense that season with a 21 points per game average, the defense picked up the slack and carried the squad to a North Egypt Conference championship with a 5-0-1 record. The Wildcats overall record that season was 7-1-1.

The 1952 Salem defense gave up just 63 points that season, an average of only seven points a game. The Wildcats posted three shutouts against Fairfield 34-0, Mt. Carmel 28-0 and Centralia 7-0. Lawrenceville, Flora and Olney were all held to seven points or less.

marianne_larimerWhen it came to Marianne Larimer’s athletic career at Salem Community High School, she was a part of many firsts.

She was a member of the school’s first volleyball team. She was a member of the first girls basketball team. Now she has become the first female to be selected to the SCHS Hall of Fame.

Larimer, whose father Bill was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989, was a four-sport athlete at SCHS from 1972-1976. While she also played softball and tennis, her strongest sports were volleyball and basketball.

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