HHS CyberPatriot Team Takes the Lead in State Competition

Courtesy Air Force Association

A group of High School students from Huntsville High School in Huntsville, AL  recently concluded an exceptional season of CyberPatriot – the Air Force Association’s National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.

Established by AFA in 2009, the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program 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 other schools abroad, to find and resolve cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated environments. The CyberPatriot Office has made modifications to the National Youth Cyber Competition to ensure the health and safety of the students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. During the CyberPatriot XIII season during the 2020-2021 school year, CyberPatriot extended the registration period by a few weeks to allow for more time for team formation since many schools were facing virtual or hybrid school learning models. One of the three rounds of competition was eliminated to allow students more time to create their teams to accommodate teams that could not gather together to compete due to virtual only or hybrid learning models. CyberPatriot also modified the rules that allowed teams to compete in a variety of settings including students competing from their homes. The top teams from the preliminary online rounds earn a place at the Virtual 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 from previous rounds, CyberPatriot XIII high school teams were categorized within their divisions as Platinum, Gold, or Silver Tier teams, with Platinum Tier teams representing the highest scoring teams.

In all, over 4,800 teams registered to compete in CyberPatriot XIII. Led by coach Jim Morse and mentors Stan Lozovsky (H2Lsolutions) and Chad Garber (Mitre) the group of students from Huntsville High School excelled in the qualifying rounds, demonstrating teamwork, critical thinking skills, and technical knowledge key to a successful career in cybersecurity. The team’s performance earned it a spot in the Semifinal Round, during which it outscored other teams to win 1st and 2nd  place overall in Alabama earning them the State Champions and Runner-ups trophies in the same year. The teams also finished in the top 95th percentile of Open division teams in the nation.

The Championship team is made of team members; Zach Barbre(12), Trey Edmondson(12), Andrew Pruett(12), Alton Hudson(11), Chris Bedsole(11) and alternate Heath Yearick(11) while the Runner-up team of all girls consist of Ariel Jones(12), Eva Aubel(10), Aislinn Hamill(10), Hailey Holsonback(10), and Megan Quinn(10).

More information is available on the U.S. CyberPatriot website or from the CyberPatriot staff at info@uscyberpatriot.org.

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