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May 14, 2014

Haverhill's LaMarre doesn't let anything stand in his way

Haverhill High junior Griffin LaMarre grew up playing lacrosse and loves the sport just like his entire family does, but he had to quit during the sixth grade.

“My legs kind of stopped allowing me to be able to play,” LaMarre said. “Both my brothers played. My dad coached. So we grew up around the sport.”

LaMarre has hereditary spastic paraplegia, which he said causes his muscles to feel tight and his legs to become tired and weak. He’s unable to stand for too long, and he walks slower and with a limp.

But he doesn’t let it prevent him from continuing to make sports a huge part of his life.

LaMarre, who was an attacker when he did play lacrosse, keeps the stats, game clock and penalties for the Hillies varsity lacrosse team. Haverhill coach Andy Van Horn said he’s essential to the program.

The junior also plays sled hockey — also known as sledge hockey — for the Northeast Passage Wildcats and the U.S. Development team. He’s training to make the U.S. National Team with the hope of qualifying for the 2018 Paralympics Games.

“He’s positive, works hard, competes and sees adversity as opportunity,” Van Horn said.

LaMarre enjoys being around the lacrosse team despite being unable to play.

LaMarre added: “Some of my best friends play (for Haverhill), and I used to play with them at one point. And I just love the sport of lacrosse. Being around it is just an awesome experience.”

LaMarre’s two brothers played for Haverhill and have played club lacrosse at the University of Virginia. Lacrosse is a family love.

“The NCAA tournament was at Gillette for a few years and we used to always make a big weekend out of it,” LaMarre said. “I follow all the college stuff. I watch it almost every week.”

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