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Acadia is a university that resides out of Wolfville, Nova Scotia. The Acadia Axemen started playing collegiate football in 1956 in which they were the first university in Canada which fielded a Canadian-rules football team. Also in that same season, they played two exhibition games against University of New Brunswick (UNB), and a military squad. After much success with the exhibition games in that season, the Axemen decided to join the Nova Scotia Junior Collegiate Football League (NSJCFL) in 1957. The following season in 1958, Acadia decided to join a new football league, known as the Maritime Intercollegiate Football League (MIFL) in which it consisted of two divisions. The first division consisted of teams from New Brunswick while the other division consisted of teams from both New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

The Axemen first football championship was during the 1975 season, when Acadia won the Jewett Trophy for being the best team in the AUAA. For winning the Jewett trophy, Acadia went on to play in one of Canada's national semi-final known as the Atlantic Bowl. Their opponent in that game was the Calgary Dinos, in which they lost 38-16. Also during that season, Bob Stracina was the school's second Hec Crighton winner for being the Most Outstanding Player in Canadian Football (the first Hec Crighton winner was Al Charuk in 1974).

In the following season, Acadia once again won the Jewett, and also won their first Atlantic Bowl over the Ottawa Gee Gees. With those two championship victories, Acadia advanced to their first Canadian College Bowl (now known as the Vanier Cup) appearance, when they played against the Western Mustangs. In a valiant effort against Western, they lost the game 29-13.


In 1977, Acadia made their second Canadian College Bowl appearance in school history, and had their rematch against the Western Mustangs and much like the previous season, Acadia once again came up short as they were defeated 48-15. Also during the 1977 season, Acadia quarterback and placekicker Bob Cameron won the Hec Crighton award this year.

On their third try in the Canadian College Bowl in 1979 against Western, the Axemen finally defeated their Ontario rival and won their first Canadian College Bowl as they defeated the Western 34-14. In that game, Acadia set a record with three rushing touchdowns in the game.


Game action of the 1979 Canadian College Bowl.
17 November 1979
Varsity Stadium, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


1979 Vanier Cup championship photo.
Circa 1979


In 1980, Acadia won their second straight Jewett Trophy (fifth in school history). With that win, Acadia went on to challenge for the Atlantic Bowl against the Ottawa Gee Gee's. In the national semi-final game, Acadia was defeated 28-8.

The following season in 1981, Acadia went to the Jewett Trophy game where they beat the Mount Allison Mounties 34-11 to claim their third straight Jewett Trophy. In the Atlantic Bowl, Acadia went on to play against the Queen's Golden Gaels in Halifax, in which Acadia won 40-14. Acadia's next stop was the Canadian College Bowl in which they played the Alberta Golden Bears. Acadia went on to edge the Golden Bears 18-12 for their second national championship.


Roster for the 1981 Canadian College Bowl.
28 November 1981
Varsity Stadium, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Game action from the 1981 Canadian College Bowl.
28 November 1981
Varsity Stadium, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Newspaper clipping commemorating Acadia's Canadian College Bowl victory for Acadia.
29 November 1981
Varsity Stadium, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto Sun


The next championship that the Axemen saw in the 1980s was in 1986, when they won their seventh Jewett Trophy in their school history, when they defeated the St. Francis Xavier X-men 29-13 and went on to play in the Atlantic Bowl in which they played the Western Mustangs. In this game, Western defeated Acadia 29-22, and advanced to the Vanier Cup. This Jewett Trophy was the last trophy that Acadia won during the 1980s.


Team photo of the Acadia Axemen from 1986.
Circa 1986
Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada


During the 1990s, Acadia won their last two championships in the 20th century. The trophies that Acadia won during this decade was the Jewett Trophy, which Acadia won in 1995 when the Axemen once again defeated St. Francis Xavier 13-8. This championship was their eighth in school history. Acadia's next Jewett Trophy was in 1998 where Acadia defeated Mount Allison 35-28.

In the 21st century, Acadia won three more Jewett Trophies. With the first one being in 2005 where Acadia defeated St. Francis Xavier 69-6. Acadia's next championship was in the following season in 2006, where Acadia defeated Saint Mary's 32-24, and Acadia's last championship (for now) in the 21st century was during the 2011 season, in which Acadia once again defeated Saint Mary's 39-20.


Acadia helmet decals.


A helmet used during the 21st century.