Returning all but two players from a school-record breaking performance in 1997, the 1998 Salem Lady Wildcats Volleyball team etched their own chapter in the school’s record book.

Salem’s 32-3 mark broke the 1997 team’s school record for wins by a team and the Lady Wildcats were undefeated against Illinois competition until their final game.

The first of two regular season tournament championships for Salem came at Carbondale, as the Lady Wildcats went 5-0 to claim the top spot. Salem won its pool by beating Carlyle, Sparta and Carbondale and finished things off by beating Sparta again in the semifinal round and Freeburg in three sets in the championship match. Senior Audrey Husk was selected to the all-tournament team.

While many sons follow in their father’s footsteps, Bob Jamison, Sr. is following in son, Bob Jamison, Jr., into the Salem High School Sports Hall of Fame.

The retired Salem High School and Salem Junior High instructor began a ten-year stint in the late 1960’s coaching the Wildcats baseball program, but that was just part of Jamison’s long involvement with baseball in the Salem area. Jamison was also involved with SCHS athletics as clock operator for the boys basketball team for ten years and the football program for 20 years. Jamison, who worked as a scout for the Cincinnati Reds for 30 years, served as a board member, director and groundskeeper for the Salem Little League program. Salem Little League dedicated Bob Jamison Field in his honor during a 1998 dedication at the new complex.

The 1998 Salem Wildcats cross country team earned the distinction of the best season in the program’s history at the time of their induction into the Salem High School Hall of Fame.

Salem won six invitational meets with first place finishes at Murphysboro, Granite City, Mt. Vernon, Peoria Notre Dame, Springfield and Metamora. Salem’s depth showed when it finished second at the Herrin Invitational without using its top seven runners. The Wildcats other regular season meet was a seventh place finish at the Crete Monee Invitational.

The 1997 Salem Lady Wildcats Volleyball team went where no team in the program’s history had ever gone before and no team has made it that far since at the time of their induction into the Salem High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Returning a large nucleus from the 1996 team that won 26 games and was a sectional finalist, the 1997 Lady Wildcats smashed the school record for wins in a season by going 31-5 and advanced to the Class AA Sweet 16.

All four regular season losses came during tournament play. Salem was third at the Carbondale Tournament beating Marion, Mt. Carmel and St. Jacob Triad (twice), but fell in the semifinals to eventual champ Belleville Althoff.

The 1996 Salem Lady Wildcats cross country team owns two notable distinctions in school history at the time of their induction into Salem High School Sports Hall of Fame as the owners of the program’s only sectional championship and best finish at the state meet.

Coach Kirby Phillips’ crew won three invitational meets during the regular season, as they took home top honors from the Murphysboro invitational, Springfield Invitational and the Herrin Invitational. The Lady Wildcats posted a runner-up finish at the Mt. Vernon Invitational, took third in meets at Granite City, and Metamora and a fourth place effort at Peoria.

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