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How many Salms can you spot on Appleton North’s football field?

Salm family
Posted at 5:31 PM, Sep 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-28 12:22:45-04
  • At the center of the Lightning football program are the Salms, but they’d say it’s centered around the kids.
  • Whether it’s a game or practice, you can always spot at least four members of the Salm family on the field. There are players, coaches, and many other positions filled by this family.
  • Rob Salm has been a coach since Appleton North opened in 1995.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

For leaders of the Appleton North football team, teaching values like brotherhood and family has come naturally because everywhere the team looks while they’re on the field, they’re looking at family. I’m Olivia Acree your Appleton neighborhood reporter, and I'll introduce you to the Lightning football family.

“Crazy story is we grew up our family farm literally a mile from this campus right here but this was just cornfields at that time,” said Rob.

That’s head coach Rob Salm and this is the Salm family.

“In the football area, there's not too many things that are happening that don’t have an imprint of one of the Salms helping and supporting,” said Rob.

There’s players, coaches, statisticians, a handyman, and a biggest fan. All part of the Lightning football program.

Curt and Rob played and coached at Appleton West, then North opened.

“We both came over here when Appleton north opened and I've been here ever since,” said Curt.

And the whole family followed.

“We get along really well we get to spend time together or doing something that we really, really enjoy,” said Rob.

For Bob Salm, or as the players call him, Papa, family is everything.

“They’re a family. It really is a family,” said Gail Salm, Rob’s mom.

And seeing his family out there every week is a dream come true.

“You know they just have so much fun together. That’s what’s awesome for me too,” said Bob Salm, or “Papa,” Rob’s dad.

They say no one fights quite like family.

“We've had our ups and downs at times especially during games,” said Curt.

“I'm probably harder on my own son and probably was Brock last year too,” said Rob.

And rob says no family fights harder for each other than this one.

“It's really tough sport. You really have to love it, and then love your teammates and you can't really do this for yourself. Which is all part of family, right? It's unconditional love. You'll do anything for them at all times. You'll fight as hard as you can for them,” said Rob.

This week, the Lightning have something to fight for. They’re 5 and 1 after last week’s game but they’re looking to come back playing the Kaukauna Ghosts Friday at North in our featured showdown game.