don_jonesIn the early 1970’s no other athlete displayed more ability to excel in three sports than Don Jones. Don played football, basketball and baseball for SCHS and was a large contributor to the success of all three teams.

As a quarterback on the football team, Don was a 1st Team North Egypt Conference quarterback. His head coach, Gary Brandt, stated “Don does a fine job of running the club and I have not seen any other quarterback as good as Don this season.” He was also named the “Player of the game” vs. Mt. Carmel on October 15, 1971.

The 1971-72 Basketball team, Coached by Lee Emery in his third year, achieved success in many ways. Their 17-9 record was one of the best in several years. Led by senior guards Don Jones and Dick Kagy, the Wildcats worked a ball control offense that also relied heavily on the inside game. Jim Sager, Greg Malan and Jack Sechrest provided much of the inside game. Jim Sager, Greg Malan and Jack Sechrest provided much of the inside scoring and rebounding while sophomore Ron Eller was a defensive player that helped with rebounding and inside scoring.

Salem was an early contender for the North Egypt Conference race battling Olney all season for conference title. Early wins against Mt. Carmel (58-50), Lawrenceville (70-62) and 1971 NEC Champions Fairfield (55-51) set the tone for a good season and the Centralia Holiday Tournament. A forth place finish in the tournament was Salem’s only trophy in their history in this tournament. Salem eventually finished second in the NEC but wins against Centralia, the first in fifteen years, and winning the 21st Salem Invitational Tournament, were definitely bright spots of the season.

The championship win over Olney by a score of 70-59 in the Invitational was the highlight of the season. Jack Sechrest led the way in scoring with 22 points while Greg Malan had 18 points and Don Jones had 13 points. The tournament championship was the first since 1966. Coach Emery said that “this was a fun team to coach that enjoyed a lot of success.”

bob_plaschkeSince Salem added tennis as a team sport in the early 70’s, most observers consider Bob Plaschke, a 1981 Salem Community High School grad, to be the best player produced by the program.

There is much to support this:

  • He is the first tennis player to be elected in the SCHS Sports Hall of Fame.
  • Bob has won more singles matches than any player in Salem history.
  • He was the North Egyptian Conference Singles Champion in 1979 & 1981.
  • In 1979 Plaschke and his double partner Mic Martin won the IHSA district meet and
    advanced to the state meet. In 1981 Plaschke and Jay Henke won the IHSA district and advanced
    to the state meet.
  • He lettered in tennis all four years at SCHS under coach Bill Morgan.
  • Bob was a member of the 1981 Junior Davis Cup Team.
  • He was rated the #1 tennis player in Southern Illinois for those 16 & under and then again for those 18 & under.
  • He also played tennis for Northwestern University his freshman year there.


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