Over the years Salem Community High School has developed a reputation as one of the top volleyball programs in southern Illinois.

The 1980 Lady Wildcats squad played a big role in starting that tradition. Perhaps fittingly, it is the first volleyball ream to be inducted into the Salem High School Sports Hall of Fame.

First-year coach Pam (McCartney) Raymer made a big splash right off the bat, as her squad won the North Egypt Conference championship.

The NEC Champion was crowned through a tournament at that time. Salem, which was the number one seed going into the tournament, had a first-round bye. In the semifinal round Salem defeated Lawrenceville 15-2, 15-2.

They may not have had the most explosive offense or the stingiest defense in the school’s history, but there is one thing the 1965 Salem Wildcats football team knew how to do. Win.

Under the direction of Hall of Fame coach Joe Thomas, the 1965 Wildcats compiled an 8-1 overall record and an outright North Egypt Conference championship.

The ability to win close games was a main trademark of this squad. On four different occasions Salem won games by a touchdown or less. They included a 26-20 win over Bridgeport, a 14-7 win over Flora, a 20-13 Homecoming win over Mt. Carmel and a 20-14 win over Carmi.

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