Once again, this year, California’s cyber athletes will be well represented at the annual CyberPatriot XI National Finals later this spring.
Eighteen of the 28 middle and high school teams competing at the national level this year will be from California, setting up the state to deliver another year of strong competition results. The following teams will represent California at the national competition:
- “Purge Everything” – Cerritos High School, Cerritos
- “CyberAegis Chobani” – Del Norte High School, San Diego
- “Cyber Aegis Thanatos” – Del Norte High School, San Diego
- “Cyber Aegis Zelos” – Del Norte High School, San Diego
- “Mendenhall” – North Hollywood High School, North Hollywood
- “Team #1” Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, Rolling Hills Estates
- “Troy Tech Support” – Troy High School, Fullerton
- “11-0248” – Troy High School, Fullerton
All Service Division
- “Varsity” – Scripps Ranch High School, San Diego (AFROTC)
- Fullerton Composite Squadron 56, Fullerton (CAP)
- “Cyber Warriors 1,” CyberD3lta,” “11-0325” – Troy High School (JNROTC)
- “Silicon Seas” – 121ENT NSCC Bay Area Unit, San Mateo (US NSSC)
- “Spartans” – US NSCC Sacramento Division, Roseville (US NSSC)
Middle School Division
- “CyberAegis Kronos” – Design 39 Campus, San Diego
- “CyberAegis Aether” – Oak Valley Middle School, San Diego
- “CyberAegis Chaos” – Oak Valley Middle School, San Diego
All three of the teams competing in the middle school division are from California, as are all three teams in the JNROTC category of the All Service Division.
What makes California such a CyberPatriot powerhouse? Coaches cite the dedication among students and a push by educators and administrators to give cyber competitions the same standing as other middle and high school sports.
“I think the main thing that makes our teams unique is their veracity towards learning computer science and cybersecurity concepts,” said Toledo Ferdinand of Scripps Ranch High School. “They are entirely self-taught and never seem lacking in motivation to study, practice, and learn — if they do worse than they wanted, it only serves to motivate them more; they thrive on competition.”
Teamwork also plays a key role. Students work together not just at CyberPatriot competitions, but also at the California Mayors Cyber Cup and cyber camps held throughout California each summer.
“Our team has a set of values that is always geared toward inclusion and helping others by setting the example even when things go wrong or are challenging and are constantly working to ensure that they focus on the “the how as much as the what,” said Hassan Twiet, cyber coach at Palos Verdes High School.
Allen Stubblefield, cyber coach at Troy High School, said the support cyber teams receive from their school districts and other partners also plays into California’s winning formula for success
“Every state has great students, but California has many schools with the right combination of computer resources, passionate coaches and supportive administrators,” Stubblefield said. “New students are welcomed, and we try hard not to say ‘no’ to students who want to try this for the first time.”
That support is desperately needed as California’s educators, business leaders and government officials work together to solve current and future cybersecurity risks and build a future ethical workforce.
“It is my hope to one day see the technical contents of CyberPatriot and other cyber defense activities become part of the standard curriculum in middle/high school just like reading and mathematics,” said Carlos Villegas of Cerritos High School. “We desperately need it. The lack of basic cybersecurity skills across all domains in our society is an existential threat.”
California Cyberhub Community Manager Donna Woods said the continued success of these teams exemplifies the collaborative mission of the Cyberhub and its members. Hundreds of advisers, mentors, teachers and coaches worked together to support students throughout the competition.
“Our California Cyberhub team wishes the best of success to all the teams representing California at CyberPatriot Nationals,” Woods said. “We are truly proud of the exemplary level of dedication and commitment given by all the teams competing this year.”
At last year’s CyberPatriot X National Finals, Team Togo from North Hollywood High School won the national championship in the Open Division, Team Cyber Warriors from Troy High School in Fullerton won the national championship in the All Service Division, and Team CyberAegis Cancer Minor from Oak Middle School in San Diego won the national championship in the Middle School Division.
CyberPatriot National XI Finals will be held April 7-11 in Baltimore. For more information, visit https://www.uscyberpatriot.org/.
CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program. At the center of CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. The competition puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company.
About California Cyberhub
The California Cyberhub is an initiative hosted at SynED, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on bringing innovation to education and workforce development. The California Cyberhub initiative is made possible by a collaborative effort of volunteers and funding from California public education, government and business. Supporters include the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s office, Community College Regional Consortiums, the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, the California Department of Education and countless volunteers and champions across the state. For more information about the California Cyberhub, visit ca-cyberhub.org