Eagles earn honors at CyberPatriot Challenge



Members of the team gather for a picture after competing in the CyberPatriot XI Round 1 Challenge. Members are (left to right) Michael Gryder, Dymonique Williams, Andrew Montes-Bradley, Ben Grimes and Scarlet Reynolds.


A team of motivated high school computer whizzes from the NJROTC program known as “DA EAGLES” finished 8th of 29 teams in Virginia competing in the Gold Tier of the CyberPatriot XI Challenge, State Rounds last week.

The team consisted of the following cadets: Michael Gryder, Ben Grimes, Dymonique Williams, Andrew Montes-Bradley, Scarlet Reynolds and team assistant Jeremiah Koch.

Sponsored by the Air Force Association, CyberPatriot involves an annual competition to encourage high school students from around the country, including minorities and females, to pursue college studies in math and science, and possibly enter careers as guardians of the Internet.   Ethical hacker teams are tasked with identifying and mitigating cyberattacks by simulated data thieves and cyber spies.  Some 4,000 teams registered and were whittled down in three preliminary rounds.

“Being our first year in the competition, we did not expect to finish as well as we did.  Especially, considering we missed the entire training round while schools were closed due to Hurricane Michael.  Not only did we learn about network vulnerabilities, but it was also fun,” Team Captain Micheal Gryder said.

Gryder is a senior at GWHS and also the unit’s commanding officer.

Based in large measure on his experience in the competition Gryder wants to major in computer science in college with hopes of one day becoming a computer engineer.

“The goal of the program is to inspire STEM and I think our performance in the competition shows what is possible with a little hard work and focus. We are already preparing and looking forward to next year’s competition,” Team Coach Command Master Chief Daryl Green said.