CyberPatriot Places Pair in State Competition

CyberPatriot Places Pair in State Competition
CyberPatriot Places Pair in State Competition

Garrett High School was well represented in the State Round of competition for CyberPatriot XI.  GHS had teams finish third and seventh in the Gold Division for its best combined finish in school history.

Established by the Air Force Association, the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program was created 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 two to six students across the United States, Canada, and from DoDD schools abroad, to find and resolve cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated environments.

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 VIX high school teams were categorized within their divisions as Platinum, Gold, or Silver Tier teams, with Platinum Tier teams representing the highest scoring teams.

A record-breaking 6,387 teams registered to compete in CyberPatriot XI, a 30% growth nationally from last season.  There were a total of 77 teams from Indiana representing 26 different institutions.  GHS was represented this season by seniors Josh Blessinger, Logan Brewer, Katline Cook and Dawes Dircksen, juniors Caleb Thimlar and Nicholas Yoder, as well as sophomores Creigh Dircksen and Noah Dapp.

The teams from Garrett High School excelled in the CyberPatriot XI State Round held January 11-13, demonstrating teamwork, critical thinking skills, and technical knowledge key to a successful career in cybersecurity.  The top group from GHS tallied 164 points to place third in Indiana while the second team was seventh with 65 points. Harrison High School (West Lafayette) and South Newton (Kentland) took home the top two spots in the State’s Gold Division with 176 and 168.6 points respectively.

“This group of students has continued its growth over the past few years to become one of the best in Indiana,” said GHS coach Bill Thomas.  “Their skills in and passion for CyberPatriot have not only won them awards in this competition, but have prepared them for a career in the growing field of cyber security.”

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

“The U.S. Air Force Association and its Fort Wayne Chapter have been key in encouraging the study of cyber security and STEM education through this program,” Thomas said. “We are extremely grateful for all that Chapter 143 of the AFA has done for us throughout the years.  Our success would not be possible without their support.”

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