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Acadia community, Axemen football mourn loss of Faoro


WOLFVILLE - Steve Faoro is being remembered at his alma mater and in the local community as a special football player and an even more special person.

Faoro, 32, who played for the football Axemen from 2002-2006, was the victim of a fatal single-vehicle collision on Nov. 16 near his hometown of Port Moody, B.C.

Enrolled in the Bachelor of Kinesiology program at Acadia from 2002-2006, Faoro had a huge impact on his teammates, both on and off the field. He co-captained back-to-back AUS championship teams in 2005-2006.

He was an all-conference selection at linebacker three straight seasons from 2004-2006, an all-Canadian selection in 2006, and was the AUS defensive player of the year in both 2005 and 2006.

A larger than life personality on campus, Faoro was involved in a number of on-campus extracurricular activities, including the S.M.I.L.E. program and KinderSkills Acadia.

Axemen head coach Jeff Cummins said Faoro had been close both to him and to his family.

“He was a great player, a great leader and a great person,” Cummins said, adding that Faoro “was like a son to me. He played for me five years; he coached a year at Acadia; and he played for me again at the 2011 Senior World Championships,” at which he was voted team captain by his peers.

After graduating from Acadia, Faoro played in the CFL and in Europe. More recently, the B.C. native had been playing for the Bellingham Bulldogs, a minor pro team in Washington State, close to the Canada - U.S. border, and had also coached.

“(Faoro) was family – to me, my wife and kids,” Cummins said. “Last year at this time, he called from B.C. to leave a birthday wish for my daughter.”

That, he said, “is who Steve Faoro (was).”

John Andrew, chaplain and executive director of the Open Arms drop-in centre and ministry in Kentville, served as a volunteer chaplain for the Axemen during Faoro’s time as a player.

“I knew Steve as an ‘away from home’ pastor,” Andrew said. “He was a friend, and he even worked for me for a bit. He visited Open Arms a few times with a few of the other players and served a meal. He was a top-notch guy.”

Elliott Richardson, currently Acadia’s strength and conditioning co-ordinator, was a teammate of Faoro’s for two seasons at Acadia. Richardson also went on to play in the CFL, returning to Acadia following his retirement.

“As a person, he was someone who welcomed me to the team with open arms when I stepped on campus,” Richardson said of his former teammate.

“He was always full of energy and was someone I looked up to. It was hard to distinguish Steve the player from Steve the person since they were so similar. Intense, outgoing, dedicated, loyal and hard-working are traits that cover both.”

As a teammate, Richardson added, he was a “fiercely intense person on the field,” both in the way he played and the way he prepared himself to play.

“I remember coming back for my second year (Steve’s fifth year) and seeing him beat all our defensive backs and receivers in our conditioning test, and wondering how someone that big and strong could be in such good shape,” Richardson said.

“It was always a race to the ball carrier, and his pursuit to the ball was relentless. Running to the ball and playing full speed, which is something that stayed with me for the rest of my time playing football, was something I learned from watching Steve early in my career.”

 

 

 

 

Faoro, 32, who played for the football Axemen from 2002-2006, was the victim of a fatal single-vehicle collision on Nov. 16 near his hometown of Port Moody, B.C.

Enrolled in the Bachelor of Kinesiology program at Acadia from 2002-2006, Faoro had a huge impact on his teammates, both on and off the field. He co-captained back-to-back AUS championship teams in 2005-2006.

He was an all-conference selection at linebacker three straight seasons from 2004-2006, an all-Canadian selection in 2006, and was the AUS defensive player of the year in both 2005 and 2006.

A larger than life personality on campus, Faoro was involved in a number of on-campus extracurricular activities, including the S.M.I.L.E. program and KinderSkills Acadia.

Axemen head coach Jeff Cummins said Faoro had been close both to him and to his family.

“He was a great player, a great leader and a great person,” Cummins said, adding that Faoro “was like a son to me. He played for me five years; he coached a year at Acadia; and he played for me again at the 2011 Senior World Championships,” at which he was voted team captain by his peers.

After graduating from Acadia, Faoro played in the CFL and in Europe. More recently, the B.C. native had been playing for the Bellingham Bulldogs, a minor pro team in Washington State, close to the Canada - U.S. border, and had also coached.

“(Faoro) was family – to me, my wife and kids,” Cummins said. “Last year at this time, he called from B.C. to leave a birthday wish for my daughter.”

That, he said, “is who Steve Faoro (was).”

John Andrew, chaplain and executive director of the Open Arms drop-in centre and ministry in Kentville, served as a volunteer chaplain for the Axemen during Faoro’s time as a player.

“I knew Steve as an ‘away from home’ pastor,” Andrew said. “He was a friend, and he even worked for me for a bit. He visited Open Arms a few times with a few of the other players and served a meal. He was a top-notch guy.”

Elliott Richardson, currently Acadia’s strength and conditioning co-ordinator, was a teammate of Faoro’s for two seasons at Acadia. Richardson also went on to play in the CFL, returning to Acadia following his retirement.

“As a person, he was someone who welcomed me to the team with open arms when I stepped on campus,” Richardson said of his former teammate.

“He was always full of energy and was someone I looked up to. It was hard to distinguish Steve the player from Steve the person since they were so similar. Intense, outgoing, dedicated, loyal and hard-working are traits that cover both.”

As a teammate, Richardson added, he was a “fiercely intense person on the field,” both in the way he played and the way he prepared himself to play.

“I remember coming back for my second year (Steve’s fifth year) and seeing him beat all our defensive backs and receivers in our conditioning test, and wondering how someone that big and strong could be in such good shape,” Richardson said.

“It was always a race to the ball carrier, and his pursuit to the ball was relentless. Running to the ball and playing full speed, which is something that stayed with me for the rest of my time playing football, was something I learned from watching Steve early in my career.”

 

 

 

 

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