Conquering the Hill: Hill Day 2023

Ethan Zhu ’26 in Features | November 10, 2023

        This past Saturday on November 4, Lawrenceville athletes and students alike boarded buses headed for Pottstown, Pennsylvania, where the infamous Hill School sits atop a hill of its very own. Hill Day is an annual Fall Term event that celebrates the long-standing athletic rivalry between Lawrenceville and Hill that dates all the way back to 1887. On this day, Lawrenceville sports teams face off against Hill athletes while non-participating students don their Lawrenceville attire and cheer on their classmates. Students from the Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer, Boys’ and Girls’ Cross Country, Girls’ Tennis, Girls’ Field Hockey, and Boys’ Football Teams all traveled to Hill to represent Lawrenceville, taking home a 9.5-6.5 win. 

        For Bastian Bocklage ’26, a member of the Boys’ Varsity Cross Country team, Hill Day was an exciting experience. In particular, he loved “seeing how everyone was doing in their sports games and cheering on all [his] classmates.” “We had a lot more people show up from Lawrenceville to cheer athletes on this year, so it was a much more active atmosphere,” Bocklage said. In addition to watching the games, Bocklage enjoyed “hanging out with Hill friends that [he’d] met from previous meets.” 

        Rebecca Chen ’27, who went to Hill as a spectator, noted that “the sports games put a good end to the fall sports season.” “Even though the bus rides were long, there was a lot of spirit,” she elaborated. Though the games were competitive and even intense at times, Chen recalled that “everyone was really respectful, and there was great sportsmanship from both sides.” 

        Likewise, Junior Varsity Girls’ Tennis player Anna Bao ’27 found the event to be “really lively and energetic.” Her favorite part of Hill Day was seeing the school spirit displayed by the spectators from both Lawrenceville and Hill. “Whenever we scored a point, we would get super loud; whenever they scored a point, they would get super loud…it was really nice to see the healthy competition between the schools,” she said. 

        Varsity Boys’ Soccer player Akhil Datla ’24 loved seeing the Lawrenceville community come together for such a tradition, commenting that “in recent years, people weren’t getting as fired up about Lawrenceville as they were before COVID.” “Last year, during the last match of our season, we felt much more individualized… this year, we were more bonded, and there was more of a team spirited attitude,” Datla elaborated. 

        The highlight of Hill Day for Isabella Jin ’26 was spectating the sports games that Lawrenceville was taking the lead in. “In the soccer games, for example, we would get really close to scoring and everyone would get really excited,” Jin said. She also noted that though the competition could get heated, the students at Hill were “very welcoming” to the visitors from Lawrenceville. 

        Athletes and supporters alike felt Hill Day marked a successful end to the fall season. “We really upped the intensity for this event, so it’s a good conclusion for the sports season,” Maggie Blundin ’24 said. 

        Datla echoed her sentiments, saying, “The last match is always important, and it really leaves a lasting message…It’s like you’re climbing Mount Everest; you spend the entire season climbing higher and higher until you finally get there.”