CRESTVIEW — Cybersecurity teams from Crestview High School recently competed in 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 disciplines critical to the nation’s future.

The program's core, 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. Top teams from the preliminary online rounds earn an all-expenses-paid trip to Baltimore, Md. for the live National Finals Competition, where students compete for national recognition and scholarships.

The CyberPatriot field has 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 X high school teams were categorized within their divisions as platinum, gold, or silver-tier teams.

In all, over 5,500 teams registered to compete in CyberPatriot X. Led by coach Daniel Sligar, three teams of students from Crestview High School excelled in the qualifying rounds, demonstrating teamwork, critical thinking skills, and technical knowledge key to a successful career in cybersecurity. One team’s performance earned it a spot in the semifinal round, during which it outscored other teams to win second place overall in the gold tier of the Open Division. Breyanna Davis, Arthur Enriquez, Zach Wilson, Javan Alto, Trenten Reed, and Kelsey Jacobson represented CHS as the Crypto Canines.

Coach Sligar said, “The Cyberpatriot teams at Crestview High School each performed incredibly well during this year’s competition, demonstrating a quick understanding and application of essential cybersecurity principles within multiple operating systems. Students are learning skills and techniques that will help set them apart from competitors while seeking future educational opportunities and employment in a career field projected to increase by 28 percent over the next few years. I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of each student during this year’s competition.”