Brains and Brawn – Testing Reason and Strength

This article was posted on: January 30, 2017

The 24th Annual tournament kicks off Catholic Schools Week

The 24th annual Brains and Brawn Tournament was an opportunity for Catholic School students in 6th-8th grade, from across the diocese, to showcase their talents in basketball (Brawn) or by testing their knowledge in 6 categories (Brains). Aquinas Catholic Schools hosted the tournament and a Mass was celebrated by Bishop William Patrick Callahan at the end of the competition.

In the Brawn basketball competition this year, there were nine teams competing for the title. In Girls Brawn, St. Mary’s School in Marathon earned the sportsmanship award and Newman Catholic Middle School in Wausau took the sportsmanship title for Boys Brawn.

For the Brains competition, the teams had to answer nine questions in six different categories including Religion, Social Studies, Science, Language Arts, General Knowledge and Math. St. Patrick’s School in Sparta took home the Brains sportsmanship title this year.

Bishop Callahan celebrated a Mass at St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral and said in his homily that celebrating the Mass for the Brains and Brawn students and being a part of the day is one of the highlights of his year. The students also participated in the Mass as altar servers, lectors and gift bearers.

At Mass, Bishop Callahan reminded those in attendance that Catholic Schools are not simply an alternative to public schools. They are, according to the bishop, extensions of parents’ obligation to teach the Faith to their children. They are schools where the students are taught how to develop a relationship with Christ, where faith and reason are stressed daily and where education is done better with less.

Superintendent Tom Reichenbacher said it was another fantastic year and thinks that, besides being a fun experience; it’s a great opportunity for students from across the diocese to gather together.

“I think the kids really get a lot out of the day but mostly it’s nice for them to compete against other Catholic School students,” he said. “Every student there is from a Catholic School and they don’t get to experience that camaraderie often. They get to compete with other students just like them.”


Here are the results from the 2017 Brains and Brawn Tournament:

Girls Brawn Tournament   

Sportsmanship – St. Mary’s School, Marathon

First place – Notre Dame Middle School, Chippewa Falls

Second place – Assumption Catholic School, Durand

Third place – Aquinas Middle School, La Crosse


Boys Brawn Tournament

Sportsmanship – Newman Catholic Middle School, Wausau

First place – Aquinas Middle School, La Crosse

Second place – Newman Catholic Middle School, Wausau

Third place – St. Mary’s School, Marathon


Brains Tournament

Sportsmanship – St. Patrick’s School, Sparta

First place – Regis Middle School, Eau Claire

Second place – Aquinas Middle School, La Crosse

Third place – Newman Middle School, Wausau


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