Many of the faces which were responsible for Salem’s only unbeaten football team in 1943 were back for another great year in 1944.

Second-year coach Kenny Farrar guided the 1944 Wildcats to an 8-1 record and the North Egypt Conference championship with a perfect 6-0 record. The eight wins Salem posted that year tied the 1941 team for most school wins in a season. Only the 1985 and 1991 teams have surpassed that win total for a season. Both of those clubs won nine.

Through the first 71 years of Salem Wildcats football, only one team has the distinction of going through the season undefeated. At the time of their induction into the Salem High School Sports Hall of Fame that one team is the 1943 squad.

The Wildcats of that season went through the campaign with a 6-0-1 mark. That lone blemish came in a 7-7 tie with Benton.

Under first-year coach Kenny Farrar, the Wildcats won the North Egypt Conference championship that season with a 5-0 mark. A key conference game against Olney was not played that season because of a polio outbreak at that school. Olney was also undefeated at the time.

Defense was the trademark of the 1939 Salem Wildcats football team.

Out of the nine games Salem played that season, the defense posted shutouts in seven of them.

Salem blanked Pinckneyville in the season opener 42-0. The Wildcats followed with shutout victories against Albion 12-0, Fairfield 13-0, Mt. Carmel 13-0, Centralia 16-0, and Bridgeport 34-0.

The Wildcats also shut out Flora that season, but the game ended in a 0-0 tie.

louis_tuffy_middletonOnly two Salem High School boys have ever placed in the Illinois state track meet and both occurred under the old one-class system.

The first came when Ross Smith placed second in the hammer throw in 1905.

The other was Louis Middleton, who placed in the state meet on two occasions.

c_king_boringC. “King” Boring made his biggest impact on the sports world after he graduated from Salem High School in 1922.

After graduating from Northwestern University with a degree in business and accounting, Boring nearly hit big as an owner of a professional basketball team.

Boring, who was nicknamed King because he took on and beat the school bully growing up, purchased the Detroit Gems in an era when pro basketball did not have the appeal that it does today. The Gems were a barnstorming team that played in cities across the country.

howard_thurman_jrTen years after his father went into the Salem Sports Hall of Fame, Howard Thurman Jr. now joins him in this elite group.

The son of former Salem coaching great Howard Thurman Sr.,Thurman Jr. was a strong athlete in basketball, track and football during his days as a Wildcat.

A 1952 graduate, Thurman Jr. set school records in both basketball and track at Salem. He set a single game scoring record of 34 points during a game in the 1951-52 season.

During that same year he broke the North Egypt Conference track record in the 180 yard low hurdles with a time of 22.9.

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