A 1982 graduate of Salem Community High School Kerry Martin was a standout baseball and football player for the Wildcats. During his time SCHS had success under Coach Budde in both football and baseball.

After college Kerry became an assistant coach at Sparta High School for three seasons and then became the head coach for one season. That year Sparta won the Southwest Egyptian Conference and qualified for the playoffs. From there he became the head coach at Flora High School where he stayed for three years and finished with a record of 18-11 and two playoff appearances. Kerry moved on to Carterville High School where his team won four Black Diamond Titles and qualified for seven playoff appearances. His 1996 season was his most successful going 14-0 and winning the state championship. In 2002 he moved on to Marion High School where he currently coaches. His record at Marion stands at 87-49. Marion has made ten consecutive playoff appearances and his overall record stands at 178-82.

During his career Kerry has served as Athletic Director at Carterville, he is an avid Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader, has been named Coach of the Year by The Southern Illinoisan and has been chosen as Teacher of the Year. He has also coached in fourteen different All-Star games.

Salem Community High School has always had its share of quality running backs and linebackers. Very few have ever been able to play both positions equally as well as Ryan Weeks.

Coming to SCHS from Selmaville School Ryan was known to be a good athlete. Nobody could have ever predicted the success that he would go on to have on the football field at SCHS. As a freshman he quickly impressed the freshman coach Jim Koehler. The freshman coach felt that he was an outstanding player that could move into a varsity position as a sophomore. In the summer of his sophomore year, and after an off season injury to a senior running back, and a promising junior that did not play, Ryan was moved to a starting position in the offensive backfield. Ryan quickly proved his worth at summer camp and won the starting running back position. As the season progressed, he quickly began to play more on defense. First, playing an Eagle Linebacker, he finished the season with 256 rushing yards, and defensively he recorded 36 tackles. The team finished 7-3 and was a playoff qualifier. (more…)

The 1997 Salem Wildcats Football Team was one of the most dominant teams in school history, but they were also one of the most entertaining teams to watch as well. They were a team that rushed the ball but also could pass equally as effective. Paired with a strong and sound defense this version of Wildcat football will not be forgotten.

The Head Coach Scott Steward gives much of the credit to an outstanding coaching staff. Brad Detering: Offensive Coordinator, John Boles, Roger Brummett, Jim Koehler, Terry Heern, and Chuck Fairbanks.

The season opened with a heartbreaking loss to Centralia but the Wildcats followed that up with eight consecutive wins. Defeating conference opponents, Red Hill 28-14, Flora 21-8, Fairfield 34-8, Mt. Carmel 20-8 and finally a non-conference win vs. West Frankfort 29-15. The Wildcats qualified for the playoffs, but were defeated by a tough Morton team. Probably the biggest win was defeating Mt. Carmel at home after falling behind early in the game. Huge catches by Tyson Bargh and Pat Lobek were 2 highlights and a strong performance defensively against an excellent Mt. Carmel offense led the Wildcats to victory. (more…)

Not only did Mike Minton earn the distinction of becoming Salem Community High School’s first state champion, team or individual, he went on to win four Class AA state titles and six state medals overall in track and field by the time he graduated in 1999.

Minton claimed his first two state medals as a sophomore in 1997 when he finished third in the discus throw with a toss of 171-8 and fifth in the shot put at 56-7 1/2. Those medals were the first by a Salem Community High School boy at the state track meet since Louis “Tuffy’ Middleton’ took fourth in the mile back in 1927.

As a junior in 1998, Minton not only became a two-event state champion but also set a state meet record in the discus with his winning throw of 192-1. That came after he won the shot put with a throw of 60-8 1/2.


The 1991 Salem Wildcats football team turned in one of the best seasons in school history with a stifling defense that shut out four opponents and limited three others to only one touchdown.

The North Egypt Conference co-champions compiled a 9-2 record, a victory total topped only by the 1985 team’s 10-1 mark, and at the time of its inductions was one of only three Salem football teams to have won a playoff game.

Coach Scott Steward’s team kicked off its season with a 35-21 win over Centralia in the annual Shriners Game, as running back Brad Mabrey rushed for a school record 354 yards and had touchdown runs of 48, 6 and 57 yards.

dan purcellOne of the most dominant and durable offensive linemen in Salem Wildcats, Dan Purcell was an anchor to some of the most successful seasons in the program’s history.

A 1988 SCHS graduate, Purcell cracked the varsity lineup in 1985 and helped lead the Wildcats to an undefeated North Egypt Conference championship, the first unbeaten and untied regular season in school history, a school record ten wins in a season and the program’s first ever playoff win against Troy Triad.

Purcell was also a key cog up front for the 1986 Wildcats squad that earned a three-way share of the NEC championship with Mt. and Olney. Salem went 7-3 on the season and earned another berth in the state playoffs.

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