From a historical marker entitled "Pine Village Football", located near the town fire station:
Local team was important Indiana precursor to modern professional football organizations. Clinton Beckett introduced football to Pine Village High School 1898. Town and high school teams played on bottomland, northwest of here, starting local football tradition. Town team, the Villagers, managed by C.J. Shackleton and later by Claire Rhode. Team became "professional" 1915, claiming state and regional championships. Jim Thorpe, All-American, played for Villagers in 1915 Thanksgiving Day game against Purdue All-Stars: Villagers won 29 to 0. Team was a founder of Indiana Football League 1917. Following World War I, the Villagers played intermittently until 1927.