“Football chose me”

With vital lessons learned through football and family, a fateful journey to the Western Mustangs was destiny for Lourenz Bowers-Kane.

By Cassie Dowse

Lourenz Bowers-Kane

For Lourenz Bowers-Kane, hitting the field elicits a vibrant rush of adrenaline. Running through the bright Western-purple smoke with cheers from a crowd of supporters, everything leads to that moment. The preparation and sacrifice – countless hours at the gym and in practices, the mental stamina, the bonds that nurture a dedicated team – all come down to this.  

“I’ve played football my entire life. By the time we’re out there, it’s purely instinctive,” says Lourenz, Mustangs football player and third-year business student at King’s University College, Western University. “We’ve already put in the work, and now it’s time to get it done.”

Lourenz grew up understanding the true value of family, naming his proud parents as his greatest inspiration. From a young age, football brought them close. Playing games on the weekends with his cousins and watching CFL, NFL and American college football, its presence taught Lourenz lessons about life, love and dedication beyond the game itself.  

Growing up near Preston, Nova Scotia, the humble vibes of Canada’s eastern coast taught Lourenz to see the best in others. He dreamed of the day that he’d bring his talents to a varsity team. Though coming to Western may have brought that vision to reality, Lourenz believes that his path was always beyond his control.

“I didn’t choose football. Football chose me,” he says. “But I did choose Western because the Mustangs are the best of the best. If you look at Western’s track record, they are known to produce high-class athletes as well as high-achieving students. I wanted that for myself.”

The Mustangs owe that successful track record to the teamwork and coaching that carries them through the highs and lows of the game. Often, that means staying positive during difficult seasons and learning from both successful and unsuccessful strategies.  

“You can’t approach football as an individual and expect to bring championships to the school,” says Lourenz. “Everyone understands that it’s a brotherhood. When we come together, the bond is amazing. During off time, we talk about life and learn from each other as individuals, which strengthens our relationships on the field.”

Lourenz Bowers-Kane on the field

Preparing for a game can be both a personal and shared process. For Lourenz, an important piece is calling his parents and saying a prayer together. Lourenz and his father, a police officer, often share late-night conversations after he gets off his shift that help keep Lourenz grounded.  

“My dad is a go-getter. When he puts his mind to something, he gets it done. He’s a gifted speaker who can move a room with his voice and he takes me away from the game of football and school to a moment of joy – talking to someone who has genuine love for you.”

Lourenz’s family history is also embedded in the walls of Western. His cousin, Tyrone Williams, played for the Mustangs, and went on to have a successful career in the CFL and NFL. “Every time I come out of the locker room, I see Tyrone’s picture in the hallway, and I’m reminded of the lessons my family taught me – that trusting the process and having faith can get you through any storm.”

Lourenz admits that the life of a student-athlete can be tough, with days full of classes, assignments, studying, football practice and workouts. He endeavors to always stay focused on the task at hand; one day at a time. “The pressure is all the emotions you can think of,” he says. “At times, you really have to dig in and find a way to move forward, channeling those feelings into positive energy.”

Also instrumental to Lourenz’s journey as a student-athlete at Western is Mustangs football head coach, Greg Marshall – someone who was there for him during difficult times, providing support when his family couldn’t be physically present.

“Lourenz is an outstanding young man with a strong work ethic and will to succeed,” says Greg. “He continually strives to improve both academically and athletically. His enthusiastic and positive personality contributes to a culture of respect and inclusivity on our team.”

The Mustangs’ dedicated fans are always there on game day through thick and thin. They witness the team at their finest, and most are aware of the overwhelming volume of work that happens behind the scenes, especially during off-season training.  

“Being an athlete and making our fans proud is a responsibility,” says Lourenz. “It means countless hours of work year-round, and it can be hard to stay motivated. But when you find your ‘why’ – why you’re in the game – it keeps you strong and moving in the right direction. For me, that’s my family.”

Paying it forward

Lourenz says that donors are vitally important to the success of student-athletes at a particularly vulnerable time, when many of them are away from friends and family in a new, unfamiliar place.  

“Many of us leave home to go to school, and we have to figure out how to live on our own for the first time,” he says. “When donors pay it forward, it feels like we’re coming to a place where we have a support system built in – people who are helping us attain our full potential.”

Western’s donors fuel student-athletes like Lourenz to succeed. Right now, you can support our Mustangs by ensuring they have the resources and opportunities to compete and excel athletically and academically.

More than simply a sport, Lourenz sees football as a platform that changes lives. Though he dreams big and hopes to play professionally, it is equally important to him that he uses his position to give back to the community that has meant so much to him. Lourenz has ambitions to improve the state of Canadian football, increasing access to funding and resources – opportunities that are more readily available for American teams, despite the high-quality talent in Canada.  

“I believe that we measure success through the amount of people we bless in our lifetime,” says Lourenz. “I want to give back to younger players, to schools, to those less fortunate, and create recreation centres for athletes. If I work hard and stay focused, I know that I can be in the position to do that.”