Twin Lakes Cyberpatriot Team Competes in National Semifinals


Scot McAtee

From Left to Right: Luis Serna, Tommy Miller, Brody Koppelmann, Kaden Klein, Griffin Hornung, RJ Parsell

The Twin Lakes High School Boys Cyberpatriot Team competed in the National SemiFinal Round of Cyberpatriot 15 at the end of January, placing in the top 50 of 101 Teams.

The team, which consists of one senior, four juniors and one freshmen, qualified for the SemiFinals by finishing in the top 3 in the State Round back in December. The girls team narrowly missed qualifying for the SemiFinal round.

This year the team was sponsored by Monticello Pizza Hut, who generously provided entry fees for the team and without their help, TL would not have been able to field a boy’s team. Ivy Tech Monticello hosted both teams for the entire competition.

Mr. McAtee, TLHS Cyberpatriot coach for the last decade, had this to say about his students’ performance, “Both of my teams did really well, especially when you consider that only one of them is actually in my Cybersecurity class. The rest have not had the opportunity to take the class yet, so we’re expecting even better things from them next year. They girls’ team barely missed the cutoff, but they had fun and they enjoyed the whole experience, which is important when you’re starting to think about what kind of career you want to pursue—having a job you enjoy just makes life a lot better. And jobs in Cybersecurity have a starting pay about $100,000. Who wouldn’t enjoy that?”

From Left to Right: Brianna Alma, Jay Butler, Alexis Dobbs, Jessie Alexander (Scot McAtee)

Cyberpatriot is a cybersecurity competition for high school students from across the country. It is put on by the Air Force Association. The competition seeks to interest students in careers in cybersecurity, either in private business or government work. There were nearly 4000 teams in this year’s competition. Teams are given 6 hours to find and fix vulnerabilities on Windows, Linux and Server machines in addition to a Cisco PacketTracer problem and a Cisco networking quiz. There are two rounds of competition that qualify teams into the State Round. In the State Round, a team is placed into one of three brackets based on their previous scores. The top 25% of teams in each state qualify for the SemiFinals. The top 12 teams in the highest bracket qualify for the National Championship near Washington DC.