When football (1-0, 0-0 Ivy) faces Yale (0-1, 0-0 Ivy) this Saturday in New Haven, Connecticut, senior wide receiver Nicholas Laboy will face off against his former high school teammate, sophomore running back Joshua Pitsenberger. The meeting between Cornell and Yale will be the second time the two friends play against one another, following a Yale victory in September 2022.
Laboy and Pitsenberger both attended the Avalon High School in Wheaton, Maryland, where they quickly formed a special bond. Even when Laboy started at Cornell, the two continued to keep in touch.
“[At Avalon] we became friends right away,” Laboy said. “It was like a one-two punch on the field. We were making plays on the football field and would hang out after class. When I graduated and went to Cornell, I followed [Pitsenberger] as he was still at Avalon –– playing running back and making plays like he always does.”
In attendance at Saturday’s game will be Tyree Spinner, who coached Laboy and Pitsenberger at Avalon, and has been able to see their progression over the years since graduating.
On the Cornell sideline, Laboy looks to build on his strong start against Lehigh, where he racked up 70 yards on five receptions. Pitsenberger, the 2022 Ivy League Rookie of The Year, will look to pick up where he left off last year and continue being a prominent part of the Bulldogs’ offense.
When it comes to the rivalry on the field, Laboy emphasized the competitive nature of both of their playing styles. Laboy remembers the first time hearing from Pitsenberger following the Bulldog’s commitment.
“After I found out he was going to Yale, [Pitsenberger] sent me the address of Cornell with the little eyes emoji, and said ‘are you ready?’” Laboy said. “I replied laughing and we talked smack. Having this type of rivalry is really fun.”
As Saturday approaches, the two friends will once again be competitors and rivals on the field. Despite the bragging rights up for grabs, Laboy looks forward to a hard-fought matchup.
“Obviously I’m always going to be against the opponent, but it will be a lot of fun to see each other compete,” Laboy said. “The relationship is always going to be a competitive one, but [at the end of the day], we’re good friends.”
Cornell and Yale will kickoff at noon and the game will be broadcasted on ESPN+.