davidmeadorThe North Egypt Conference’s Most Valuable Player in 1985, running back/linebacker David Meador helped lead the Salem Wildcats football team to its first unbeaten, untied regular season, its most wins in a season in school history, and its first ever playoff victory.

Meador, a 1986 graduate of Salem Community High School, ran for a school record 1,681 yards in that 1985 season and set a school record for most career rushing yards with 3,278. Meador set two other school marks that year, which included most points scored in a season with 180 and most yards rushing in one game with 265 against Fairfield. Those 180 points ranked second in the state that season, while his rushing total was fifth best. He also ranked eighth in the state in tackles. He was also an NEC First Team pick on both sides of the ball.

The 1985 Salem Wildcats football team went places the program had never gone before or since at the time of its Hall of Fame induction.

Their 10-1 record is still the most wins in a season in school history as are their 417 points scored, their 3,514 yards rushing and 3,886 yards of total offense. They, along with the 1943 team, are the only Salem football teams to go through the regular season unbeaten, but the 1985 team is the only one to go unbeaten and untied. Coach Chuck Budde’s team achieved another school first with the program’s first playoff victory. Salem rode a potent one-two punch in its backfield to much of its success, as that squad is the only one in school history that featured two 1,000-yard rushers. Running back David Meador led that ground attack with 1,681 yards and 30 touchdowns on his way to being named the North Egypt Conference’s Most Valuable Player. Meador was joined in the backfield by Mark Byars, who rushed for 1,173 yards. Seven times Meador and Byars rushed for 100 or more years in the same game.

gregmalanThe only inductee into the 2007 Hall of Fame is Greg Malan. Greg attended Salem Community High School from 1969 – 1972. He was a three sport athlete having success in football, basketball and track.

In football, Greg was a three year letterman and starter on the offensive line. He was elected a captain in his senior year and also played defense. Greg received many post-season honors including 1st team North Egypt Conference in 1970 and 1971. Other awards included 1st team Evansville Courier, 1st team All-South, and the Decatur Herald 1st team. Described as “the best athlete in the league who was very quick and difficult to block, even though most teams tried to avoid him,” Malan went on to Eastern Illinois University on scholarship to play football. He started as a freshman, earned a varsity letter, and was named “Freshman of the Year”; however, a back injury forced him to leave football for track and field.

redHenry “Red” Hinkley attended Salem High School and graduated in the spring of 1940. He was an outstanding athlete that competed in football, basketball, and track. He was very fast and made a fine running back during his time for the Wildcats.

In 1941, Henry enrolled in school at Southern Illinois National University (SIND) which is now known as SIU. He was an honor student, a sophomore repre5entative to the student council and a three sport letterman in football, basketball, and track.

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 1981 Salem Wildcats football team brought a return of glory to the program.

After five losing seasons in the past six years, which included a 2-7 record just the year before in 1980, Salem did nearly a 360 degree turnaround under first-year coach Chuck Budde.

The Wildcats came up just short in their bid to win the North Egypt Conference championship, but their 8-1 regular season record produced the first ever playoff berth for the program.

The run to the playoffs began with a 13-6 win over Centralia. Bobby Moore, who rushed for 95 yards, scored on a 16 yard run and Jeff Meador added a three-yard touchdown run to lead the way.

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