Team Way 2 SeXC wins Team Bingbong in the semifinals. They got the second place in the final. (Xinzhao Li/B&W Staff)

Class of 2024 celebrates their first rivalry week


After the cancellation of a typical Lehigh-Lafayette rivalry week in 2020 due to COVID-19, Lehigh’s sophomore class will experience their first tradition Le-Laf this year.

This game marks the 157th anniversary of The Rivalry and will take place at Lehigh. Last year, the game was postponed to spring 2021. With the fall season upon us, the sophomore class is excited as the countdown for the big game begins.

Sam Jahrmarkt, ‘24, will be attending the game for her first time this weekend. 

“Whether it is hanging up posters poking fun of Lafayette or physically attending the game, I am excited to truly immerse myself into the Lehigh culture,” Jahrmarkt said.

Along with the football game, many other events take place throughout the week preceding the game. In 2007, the tradition of bed races was revived by members of the class of 2010 as part of the Lehigh-Lafayette spirit week. The races entail students decorating beds and drag racing them. This year for the first time, the bed races will take place on Packer Avenue. 

Jahrmarkt said she is also excited to attend the bed races, as they are a major part of the Lehigh culture. Additionally, on game day, she will be setting up a tent with [her]sorority and another fraternity to meet and reconnect with alumni and each other, she said.

Jahrmarkt said that having the Le-Laf rivalry week is not only a fun escape from a typical week, but it also allows the school community to come together. 

Sydney Izakson, ‘24, a member of Lehigh’s Swimming and Diving Team, is also fond of the sense of community that the weekend brings to Lehigh. 

“Being an athlete at Lehigh University, Le-Laf gives me the opportunity to reconnect with alumni,” Izakson said. “This year we will also have a meet on the Friday of Le-Laf. During this time our team comes together and works harder than ever to beat Lafayette. Finally, we all celebrate the meet through team dinner.” 

Lehigh Valley native Cyrus Elmi, ‘24, said he will be spending extra time with his friends participating in the different activities the historic week has to offer.  He said that he cannot wait to create lasting memories with his closest friends through the traditions that drew him to attend Lehigh. 

Elmi said he is looking forward to watching the game and reminiscing about the times he used to hear about the big competition when he was a kid. 

“Being near Lehigh, growing up, I had always heard about The Rivalry and cheered for Lehigh my entire life,” Elmi said. “Going to school now really reminds me of my childhood. It is great that I can share my childhood with my friends here at Lehigh through attending the games and rooting for the Mountain Hawks.”

As the big weekend approaches, the sophomore class is joining the rest of Lehigh’s student body and alumni network in anticipation of the football game and other rivalry traditions.

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