Individual

Megan Grizzle Kessler was an outstanding three sport athlete all four years of her tenure at SCHS. She was voted 1st team NEC Volleyball in 1997 and second team all NEC in 1998. In track she was a member of the 1997 indoor 3200M Relay record setting team. Megan was the 1998 Robert Raver Outstanding Field Athlete and in 1999 she made a shot put throw of 37’5″ which stands as the 5th best throw in Lady Wildcat Track history.

In basketball she was the 9th female in school history to score over 1,000 career points and started every game all four years of her basketball career. She was 1st team NEC in 1997 and 1998 and was awarded the NEC Co-MVP in 1999. She was voted the team MVP in 1998 and 1999. Megan was a part of the 28-3 Elite 8 team in 1999 and was given AP All State Honorable Mention in 1999.

Megan then played her college basketball at SIUE and there she made a NCAA Division II Tourney appearance in 2001. After graduating from SIUE she became a SCHS faculty member and coach. Megan coached girls track for five years and is currently coaching girl’s basketball and golf.

Megan has been previously inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of the 1999 Girls Basketball Team and the 1999 Girls Volleyball Team.


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…)


Not only did Nathan Purcell achieve feats no Salem Community High School cross country runner had previously accomplished, but he helped lift the Wildcats program to unprecedented heights.

Purcell posted the highest finish by a Salem runner at the Class AA state meet during his junior season in 1997 when he finished seventh with a time of 14:36, as the Wildcats’ 13th place finish was their best as a team.

During his senior season in 1998 Purcell won individual regional and sectional championships followed by a ninth place finish at the state meet with a time of 14:44. That year the Wildcats climbed four more spots in the team standings with a ninth place finish.
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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.
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When it came to participating in Class AA state meets, Chris Owen was a fixture during his four years in high school.

The 1997 Salem Community High School graduate qualified for state all four years in track and field as an individual, but he also was a part of four state-qualifying cross country teams.

Owen qualified for state in the 3200 meters in each of those years. As a freshman he advanced to state with a second place finish at the sectional meet with a time of 9:50.84 and was 12th in his heat at the state prelims at 10:04.06.
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