Panthers devour Big Red

Coby Gibson, Sports Editor

The Lawrenceville versus Princeton Day School games have always been exciting. This is true in every sport that we have played against each other and the rivalry goes back to the founding of PDS. In the past, Lawrenceville has historically gotten the better of the exchanges due to the fact that it is a boarding school, recruits athletes, and is double the size of PDS’s high school, with 819 enrolled students. However, in the past four years things have begun to change.

Three years ago, PDS tied Lawrenceville in hockey after a five year hiatus from playing each other. The following year, PDS beat Lawrenceville 6-3 at home under the watchful eyes of what seemed like the entire school. It was the frst time in 10 years that PDS had beaten Lawrenceville in hockey. After saying farewell to many seniors, last year proved to be challenging for the Panthers in a 6-0 loss to Lawrenceville. However, this year, senior leader Connor Fletcher was on the hunt for another win against Lawrenceville in hockey. He spoke confdently to the readiness of all of the players and how the younger members of the team had really matured both physically and mentally. The team looked up to him for leadership, and Fletcher showed everyone both in the stands, and on the ice, what it meant to be a Panther, leading the team to a 6-3 victory over Lawrenceville.

The Zoo was out in full force that night to watch PDS beat Lawrenceville, and junior Paul Franzoni described the atmosphere as “bonkers.” It was truly amazing to watch the victory take place, especially coming off of such a tough loss the year before. In places like the PDS hockey rink, where everyone is in such close quarters, it is easy to see how the crowd feeds off of the energy they feel coming from the team and vice versa.

This same energy could not be felt as strongly during the soccer season over the course of a rainy fall weekend. It was homecoming for PDS and everyone hoped to play under sunny skies, but it was not to be. The day turned out to be cold, rainy, and gray when the PDS boys’ soccer program beat the Lawrenceville soccer team 1-0 for the frst time in 32 years. It was an upset that surprised many people but proved to be an auspicious start to the rivalry between the two schools during PDS’s 50th anniversary year. Again, Fletcher played an enormous role in the victory, scoring the only goal with a pivotal header.

Both of these games were hugely exciting for everyone who participated both on the sidelines and on the feld or in the rink. There is still a third major game to be played this year between Princeton Day School and Lawrenceville. The PDS boys lacrosse team will play the Lawrenceville program within the frst three games after returning from spring break. PDS junior Will Brossman spoke to the readiness of the team. He said that the team was working hard in the off season, and if the team can “play our game” then they can pull out the win. GO PANTHERS!