Wenatchee High School Athletic Hall of Fame

Merle Osborne
CLASS of 1935 Football and Track ATHLETE
In the era of single wing football dominated by running the ball, Merle was the workhorse of the Panther attack. In the Wenatchee Daily World, he was described as being "the nucleus of the offense" as well as "the sparkplug of the Panther defense" during three years in the starting lineup. The rawboned 170-lb. fullback and defensive back for P.K. Benjamin coached teams was also a record setting punter. In 1934 against Walla Walla, "Ozzie" booted a punt with the line of scrimmage at WHS's 27 yard line that was downed on the one - a distance of 72 yards. He also had several other kicks in excess of 50 yards. Merle served as team captain his senior year.

Also accomplished as a track athlete, he won the county shot put title and was second at the district meet. In all, Merle earned six letters.

He became the first Panther football player to star at an out-of-state college as a three-year starter at fullback and defensive back/linebacker at Iowa State. Osborne's powerful running style earned him plaudits as being a "fine ground gainer." Defensively for the Cyclones, he was recognized for his "wonderful defensive work."

Osborne, a 6-2, 215-lb. fullback and kicker, played professionally in two games for the Wilmington Clippers before being traded to the Buffalo Tigers and starting seven games in the American Football League.

- Caricatures of inductees as they appeared while involved in WHS athletics and the synopsis of accomplishments are drawn and written by Jeff Mertes.