1996 Boys Cross CountryWinners of six regular season invitationals to go along with North Egypt Conference and Class AA regional and sectional championships,the 1996 Salem Wildcats cross country team put together one of the best seasons in school history.

Led by individual championships by Chris Owen, Salem kicked off its season by winning the Murphysboro and Granite City Invitationals. The Wildcats displayed their team depth when they won the Herrin Invitational with their junior varsity squad led by a fourth place finish by Willie Shuler. The Wildcats won their fourth straight race to start the season when they claimed the title at the Mt. Vernon Invitational, as Salem had the first or second place finisher in five of the seven flighted races.

Salem suffered its first setback of the season when it finished second to Naperville North at the Downers Grove Invitational, but the Wildcats still had three of the top ten runners led by a third place finish by Chris Owen.

Coming off one of the best seasons in school history, the 1998 Salem Lady Wildcats cross country team had high hopes despite losing 3 of it’s Top 5 runners as graduating Seniors and facing an increase in official course length from 2 miles to 2.5 miles. The team returned the top 2 runners in Junior Erin McMullen and Senior Trisha Hustedde and rounded out its experience with returning varsity runners in Junior Gena Terlizzi and Senior Audrey Hargis. Add several talented younger runners into the mix and the team had a promising season ahead.

The Lady Cats started the season with a victory scoring 35 points at the Murphysboro Invitation, finishing in front of rival school Mt. Vernon. McMullen lead the team with a 2nd place finish, Hustedde right behind in 3rd and Freshman Erica Jansen in 5th. Next, the ladies won the Granite City Invitational with a team score of 65 points. The Mt. Vernon Invitation made it three in a row for the Lady Cats with a combined score of 10 points, winning 4 of the 7 filghted races. (more…)

The 1999 boys track team is the first track team to be inducted into the SCHS Hall of Fame. The accomplishments of this team, undoubtedly, make it one of the best teams in any sport at Salem Community High School.

Coached by Kirby Phillips and assisted by Orlando Ramos, their success began early in the season when they won the Sterling Indoor Meet, edging out Springfield Lanphier. Throughout their season, the team totally dominated all dual and triangular meets. In large, multiple team meets they were champions of the Paducah Tilghman Invitational, Wamac Invitational and Marion Relays, and finished an impressive second place at the Mineral Area Meet at Belleville West, Orphan Relays, Al Joyner Classic, and Mt. Vernon Relays. (more…)

The 1997 Salem Wildcats boys cross country team was loaded and ready for the fall campaign with six of their top seven runners returning from a very successful ‘96 season. The question that remained was who would step up to fill the shoes of graduated number one, Chris Owen.
The Wildcats started the season by losing the Murphysboro Invitational on a tiebreaker to the Mt. Vernon Rams, with each team scoring 41 points. The highlight of the race was the emerging of junior Nathan Purcell as the number one runner for the Wildcats and the individual race winner, setting a new course record. Charlie Stanley, Shane Kelly, Tommy Oliverio and Aaron Duke rounded out the counters for the Cats in that first meet.

Heading west to the Granite City Invitational gave the Cats their revenge on Mt. Vernon by taking the team victory with a score of 51 to the Rams’ 56. Once again, the men were lead by Purcell, Tommy Oliverio stepped up to the number two spot with a time of 16:03. Following was the tight pack of Shane Kelly, Henry Alers and Charlie Stanley in times of 16:14, 16:16 and 16:19 respectfully. (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…)

A program that had posted just one winning season in the previous 18 years put everything together during the 1998-99 campaign when the Salem Lady Wildcats basketball team broke the school record for wins en route to the program’s deepest advancement in postseason play.

Salem’s road to a 28-3 record began when the Lady Wildcats won the Mascoutah Round Robin Tournament with victories over Greenville 62-40, Breese Central 46-41 and Mascoutah 49-42. Renee Brubaker scored 33 points during the three games and was named tournament most valuable player, while Megan Grizzle was also named to the all-tournament squad.

Salem added victories over Highland, Lawrenceville, Red Hill, Flora and Mt. Carmel before it suffered its first blemish at Mt. Vernon 64-50.

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