Garrett High School CyberPatriot Team Wins Silver Division Indiana 2nd Place Award

Garrett High School CyberPatriot Team Wins Silver Division Indiana 2nd Place Award
Cyber Patriot Students

Two groups from Garrett High School recently concluded an exceptional round of competition in the 10th season of CyberPatriot – the Air Force Association’s National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.  One group competing in the Silver Division placed second in the State of Indiana and also advanced to the Regional Round held this past weekend.  Another in the Gold Division was seventh in Indiana.

“This marks at least the third year in a row that Garrett has had a Silver Division team place in the top two in the State of Indiana,” Coach Bill Thomas said.  “Their skills in and passion for CyberPatriot continue to grow each year and have done more than just win them awards in this competition.  They have prepared them for a career in the field of cyber security.”

GHS was part of a competitive group of Silver Division teams from the State of Indiana.  Twin Lakes High School placed first while Garrett followed by less than six points for the second year in a row.  South Newton High School placed third.

Established by AFA in 2009, CyberPatriot is designed to excite, educate, and motivate students toward careers in cyber security and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future.

CyberPatriot’s core program – the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition – challenges teams of students across the United States, Canada, and from DoDD schools abroad, to find and resolve cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated environments. Top teams from the preliminary online rounds earn an all-expenses-paid trip to Baltimore, Md., for the in-person National Finals Competition, where students compete for national recognition and scholarships.

The CyberPatriot field is divided into three divisions – the Open Division for public, private, and home school teams; the All Service Division for JROTC, Civil Air Patrol, and Naval Sea Cadet Corps teams; and the Middle School Division. Based on the results of two preliminary rounds, CyberPatriot X high school teams were categorized within their divisions as Platinum, Gold, or Silver Tier teams, with Platinum Tier teams representing the highest scoring teams. Overall this season there were 5,584 teams nationally that took part in CyberPatriot X, which was a 27 percent increase from the previous year.  The State of Indiana was home to 73 teams representing 23 different institutions.

Led by Coach Bill Thomas, the group from Garrett High School excelled in the CyberPatriot X State Round held Jan. 19-21, demonstrating teamwork, critical thinking skills, and technical knowledge key to a successful career in cybersecurity.  The CyberPatriot team from GHS includes senior Tanner Sweet, juniors Josh Blessinger, Katline Cook and Dawes Dircksen, sophomores Jacob Davis, Caleb Thimlar and Nicholas Yoder, freshman Creigh Dircksen and middle school students Micah Carlson, Rylin Latham and Kameron Ruiz.

The teams from Garrett High School have been supported throughout the season by the Fort Wayne Chapter of the Air Force Association.  The local chapter, AFA143, paid for the CyberPatriot entry fees along with food and beverage for each of the team’s competitions and practice dates this season.

“Our group is filled with students who are among the best novice cyber security students in the nation,” Thomas said. “We owe much of the credit for that to the U.S. Air Force Association and its Fort Wayne Chapter.  We are given the best support of any school in the country and for that our students are extremely grateful.”


Following the Regional/Category Round and Middle School Division Semifinals Round, top teams in the Open and All Service Divisions’ Platinum Tier and the top three Middle School Division teams nationally will advance to the CyberPatriot X National Finals Competition in Baltimore, Md., in April. 

More information is available at or from the CyberPatriot staff at


The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage. 


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