We interrupt the discussion of the 1910 Harvard Law School team to report on the annual Jim Thorpe Sports Days that kicked off yesterday with a flyby of two F-16 fighter jets from the Vermont Air Guard. Students from the war colleges of the various branches of the military compete in races and games each year on Indian Field at Carlisle Barracks, PA to continue a tradition that began in 1974. Indian Field is no stranger to athletic competitions; it is the field on which the Carlisle Indian School football teams played their home games. Jim Thorpe, Frank Mt. Pleasant and most of the others played their home games here. However, the Indians’ earliest games weren’t played on this field because it didn’t yet exist.
Superintendent Pratt reported on the football field in the September 1898 edition of The Red Man, the school’s newspaper at that time:
“The football team has not only continued to hold the high record it made, but through the earnings of the game a large and fine athletic field has been added to the school advantages. Ground adjoining the school was bought, leveled off, and a large, oval turf field, with a quarter mile running track, is now near completion.”
The field today is different from its 1898 configuration. The topsoil and its base were replaced over a century ago; a sprinkling system was added not many years after Indian Field was put into service; the track was upgraded a few times; and bleachers were eventually installed. Those wooden bleachers were replaced by the limestone-clad concrete grandstand years ago.
John Thorpe, grandson of Jim Thorpe, and George Yuda, son of Montreville Yuda, descendents of Carlisle Indian School students were present at the festivities.
The Sentinel’s coverage of Jim Thorpe Sports Days can be found at http://www.cumberlink.com/articles/2010/04/24/news/local/doc4bd25f2f21aa0440783186.txt