Community Clubs Lacrosse

HIGH ACHIEVERS: St. Peter’s Austin Lamoureux driven by lacrosse, Canadian military vets

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HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic

Read More in this series on Ottawa’s HIGH SCHOOL BEST here.

Gloucester Griffins lacrosse player Austin Lamoureux. Photo provided

By Martin Cleary

Austin Lamoureux is an All-Canadian kind of guy. Not only does he play Canada’s national summer sport, but also he deeply cares about our military veterans.

At age two, Lamoureux joined the Gloucester Griffins’ initiation program and never left the organization. He further developed his skills with the Ottawa Capitals and St. Peter High School Knights.

In January 2020, the Peterborough Lakers made him their third pick in the first round of the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League draft. He was later recruited by Limestone University, an NCAA Division 2 school.

Lacrosse, whether box or field, is his game and he’s more than just a player. While in Grade 7 and 8 at St. Peter, he would help coach the new Knights players on the high school team.

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But when his lacrosse world came to a halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lamoureux got hooked on another national tradition: Remembrance Day. He wanted to honour his grandfather and great-grandfather.

“My mom had the original idea. We wanted to get our grandfathers poppy facemasks, but they were sold out. So why not make some with fabric and why not do it for all the vets,” Lamoureux said in an interview.

Lamoureux created the Poppies for Poppas not-for-profit campaign. He recruited a few friends, secured some corporate money to buy the fabric and went to work making hundreds of poppy facemasks.

Austin Lamoureux. Photo provided

Not only did he support his grandfather and great-grandfather leading up to Remembrance Day and show his gratitude towards their military service, but he also wanted to do it for Canada’s veterans in general.

In the end, the campaign produced 500 facemasks, which showed a Remembrance Day theme and served to protect against the coronavirus. About half of the facemasks were given free to veterans in the community.

The other half were sold or distributed to friends, teachers and sponsors, who made a donation. The campaign raised $2,500 and will be donated at a safe time to the Royal Canadian Legion in Orleans.

Lamoureux’s initiative didn’t go unnoticed in the community. He now has an honour to go beside his athletic achievements: the Rotary Club of Orleans Youth Award for Community Service.

During the pandemic, Lamoureux admitted to being “unmotivated, lazy and sitting around.” But St. Peter athletic director David Ibit and phys-ed teacher Moya Hamilton provided the incentive to get him moving.

Lamoureux has always been active at St. Peter, whether in cross-country running, badminton or lacrosse. He has been the Knights’ junior athlete of the year and won MVP and Coaches’ awards in various sports.

“It has been hard,” Lamoureux said about the stoppage of sports. “It has been a big mental health pull. You can’t go out and throw a (lacrosse) ball in the park without getting in trouble or a dirty look.”

The pandemic cancelled his last two years of high school lacrosse, but he has good memories of playing for and coaching the Knights. The sport also motivated him to boost his grade average into the upper 80s.

“I led the new players, running them through the offensive system and explaining it in depth,” he said. “It was awesome. The guys on the team were the ones I looked up to and watched in junior B and C.”

In a few months, Lamoureux will head to Gaffney, South Carolina, to study English and play field lacrosse for Limestone University Saints. He hopes to become a high school English teacher and lacrosse coach.

“I didn’t realize there was a Limestone University until I got a call from the coach. It was the best offer,” said Lamoureux, who will keep an Ottawa presence alive, with current senior Jordan Stouros set to graduate.

Read More in this series on Ottawa’s HIGH SCHOOL BEST here.

Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 49 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.

When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at

Martin can be reached by e-mail at and on Twitter @martincleary.

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