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Academic Games History

Academic Games is a set of individual and team competitions in both logic-based cube games and reading games where students face off to demonstrate their knowledge in different subject areas. Academic Games was first introduced in New Orleans early in 1966 when a teacher at Mount Carmel Academy ordered Equations games in response to a magazine ad. The students and their faculty moderator attended the first national tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Returning as evangelists, they taught students and teachers, including Brother Neal Golden, S.C., from other New Orleans area high schools the following fall.

During the Christmas holidays of 1966, the schools had their first local competition—a Propaganda tournament—conducted at Mount Carmel Academy by Robert W. Allen and Larry Liss from the National Academic Games Project. Both Cor Jesu and St. Aloysius fielded teams in this history-making Academic Games tournament. This was the first Propaganda tournament ever.

Organized by Brother Neal, the schools scheduled Equations matches during the second semester of the 1966-1967 academic year. Later that spring, Brother Neal took five players from St. Aloysius High School to the second national tournament (known as the "Olympics" at the time). For the 1967-1968 school year, the high schools officially formed the New Orleans Equations League and played weekly matches from January through March. Additional games were added to the league over the years, and competitions were introduced for middle and elementary school students.

The league currently operates under its founder and director, Brother Neal Golden, as the New Orleans Academic Games League (NOAGL). The NOAGL is a member of the Academic Games Leagues of America (AGLOA) and has helped form—both academically and socially—thousands of students of all ages from all over the Greater New Orleans Metro Area, but especially at Brothers of the Sacred Heart schools.

Presently, the Brother Martin Academic Games team plays the mathematical games of Equations and On-Sets, the language arts game of Propaganda, and the social studies game of Presidents in the NOAGL.

Throughout the Academic Games history at Brothers of the Sacred Heart schools in New Orleans, there have only been three Academic Games coaches: Brother Neal, Donald Bagert, and Craig Zeller. Both Mr. Bagert and Mr. Zeller participated in Academic Games as students at Brother Martin High School under Brother Neal’s mentorship.

Bro. Neal and Mr. Zeller have been recognized as AGLOA Outstanding Educators. Mr. Zeller was selected for the award in 2006, the school year before he began teaching at Brother Martin High School. Bro. Neal was given the award in 2016, in his fiftieth year of working with Academic Games. “Outstanding teachers and coaches are recognized each year by their peers at the AGLOA National Tournament. These individuals have contributed over an extended period of time in a quality manner to their own programs and have also made significant contributions at the national tournament. They are revered by their students and colleagues.” - AGLOA website.

Along with the AGLOA Outstanding Educator Award, Bro. Neal and Mr. Zeller are both in the AGLOA Coaches Hall of Fame. Bro. Neal's national championship coaching career highlights from 1967 - 2010: 55 Individual Titles; 3 Individual Sweepstakes; 49 Team Titles; 14 Sweepstakes.

Brother Martin High School has had eight Outstanding Seniors, which was originally named the Brother Neal Golden Award, selected at the Academic Games national tournament— Don Bagert (1973), Steve Lombardo (1986), Andy Messina (1996), Barry Brunet (2000), Michael Badeaux (2001), Craig Zeller (2002), Joseph Arrigo (2015), and Dominique Lousteau (2016). The award was started in 1972 and is one of the most prestigious awards in Academic Games. “The Outstanding Senior Award is a recognition given by the Academic Games Leagues of America at its annual national tournament. Outstanding Senior Awards are given to those graduating seniors who have enviable competitive records and have given of themselves to promote the spirit of Academic Games in their own schools and leagues. These individuals exhibit the highest qualities of character and sportsmanship.” - AGLOA website.

There are seven Brother Martin alumni in the AGLOA Player Hall of Fame. Justin Branley (2003-2006) - 1 Sweepstakes, 4 Total Titles; Barry Brunet (1993-2000) - 1 Sweepstakes, 2000 Outstanding Senior, 3 Total Titles; Hunter Mathas (2013-2017) - 2 Sweepstakes, 4 Total Titles; Andy Messina (1992-1996) - 1996 Outstanding Senior, 3 Total Titles; Nathan Monteleone (1994-1998) - 3 Total Titles; Joey Olivier (1988-1991) - 3 Total Titles; and Kurt Wilson (1992-1998) - 1 Sweepstakes, 4 Total Titles. “Starting in 2000, the 35th anniversary of the first national tournament, AGLOA began recognizing the most outstanding individual, coaching, and team performances at the national tournament.” - from AGLOA Hall of Fame.

Most recently, the Brother Martin Senior Division team won the Sweepstakes Team Championship at the 2017 AGLOA National Tournament. To read more about the 2017 national championship team, click here.

St. Aloysius Academic Games NATIONAL Championships

Year Recipient Award(s)
1967 Michael Bloemer Senior Democracy
1969 Paul Puchot Junior Equations

Brother Martin Academic Games NATIONAL Championships

Year Recipient Award(s)
1971 Donald Bagert Senior Equations
1972 Fred Kuhn Junior Equations
1972 Donald Bagert Senior Equations
1972 Paul Puchot Senior Mathematics Overall
1973 Fred Kuhn Senior Equations
1973 Donald Bagert Senior Equations, On-Sets, Mathematics Overall, and Outstanding Senior Overall
1974 Brian Yokum Junior Mathematics Overall
1975 Junior Equations
1975 Senior On-Sets and Mathematics Overall
1975 Brian Yokum Junior Equations and On-Sets
1975 Michael Koorie Junior Equations
1975 Alan Harris Senior On-Sets
1976 Gerald Tassin Senior Language Arts Overall
1977 Senior On-Sets
1977 Alan Harris Senior On-Sets
1977 Adrian Rocksay Junior Mathematics Overall
1978 Junior Mathematics Overall
1978 Senior Equations, On-Sets, and Mathematics Overall
1979 Adrian Rocksay Senior Equations
1980 Junior On-Sets and Sweepstakes
1980 Senior Equations, On-Sets, and Mathematics Overall
1980 Scott St. Germain Middle On-Sets
1980 Brett Pendergast Senior Equations
1980 Kevin Piediscalzi Senior On-Sets and Mathematics Overall
1981 Senior Sweepstakes
1981 James Saporito Senior Propaganda/Strange Bedfellows
1982 Scott St. Germain Junior On-Sets and Mathematics Overall
1982 James Petivan Senior Ameri-Euro-Card
1983 Mark Thiele Middle Propaganda/Strange Bedfellows
1984 Junior Propaganda/Strange Bedfellows and Sweepstakes
1984 Senior Equations, On-Sets, Mathematics Overall, and Sweepstakes
1984 Jeff Harrington Junior Propaganda/Strange Bedfellows
1984 Steve Lombardo Junior Ameri-Euro-Card and Overall Social Studies
1984 Dean Leone Senior Equations
1984 Scott St. Germain Senior Equations and Mathematics Overall
1985 Senior Equations
1986 Senior Propaganda
1986 Steve Lombardo Outstanding Senior Award
1987 Junior Propaganda
1987 Paul Guirovich Junior Propaganda
1988 Jerry Maples Junior Propaganda
1989 Senior Sweepstakes
1989 Joey Olivier Junior Equations and Mathematics Overall
1990 Senior On-Sets, Mathematics Overall, Propaganda, and Sweepstakes
1990 Stephen Enseleit Junior Mathematics Overall
1990 Giovanni Estrada Senior Equations
1990 Jerry Maples Senior Equations and Mathematics Overall
1990 Joey Olivier Senior Equations
1991 Senior Presidents
1991 Joey Olivier Senior Equations
1992 John Lambert Senior Propaganda
1994 Andy Messina Junior Presidents
1994 Kurt Wilson Middle Equations, On-Sets, Propaganda, and Sweepstakes
1995 Junior On-Sets
1995 Senior Propaganda
1995 Alan Thriffley Senior Equations
1995 Andy Messina Senior Propaganda
1996 Barry Brunet Middle Propaganda and Sweepstakes
1996 Nathan Monteleone Junior Equations and On-Sets
1996 Luke Mayne Senior On-Sets
1996 Andy Messina Outstanding Senior Award
1998 Senior Propaganda and Sweepstakes
1998 Brian Giandelone Middle Equations
1998 Brett Guidry Junior Propaganda
1998 Ryan Estaris Senior On-Sets
1998 Charles Stiegler Senior Propaganda
1999 Senior Propaganda and Sweepstakes
1999 Rick Barnard Senior On-Sets
2000 Junior Presidents
2000 Steven Moynan Junior On-Sets
2000 Barry Brunet Outstanding Senior Award
2001 Senior On-Sets and Sweepstakes
2001 Wayne Dussel Junior Equations
2001 Jon Frosch Junior Presidents
2001 Michael Badeaux Outstanding Senior Award
2002 Senior Propaganda
2002 Craig Zeller Outstanding Senior Award
2005 Justin Branley Senior Presidents
2006 Justin Branley Senior On-Sets, Propaganda, and Sweepstakes
2011 Senior Propaganda
2013 Nick Brilli Senior On-Sets
2015 Joseph Arrigo Outstanding Senior Award
2016 Hunter Mathas Senior Sweepstakes and Equations
2016 Dominique Lousteau Outstanding Senior Award
2017 Senior On-Sets, Propaganda, Presidents, and Sweepstakes
2017 Trey Andrew Senior Equations
2017 Hunter Mathas Senior Presidents and Sweepstakes
2019 Anthony Wei Junior Presidents