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CyberPatriots in Bob Jones AFJROTC succeed in national competition

MADISON – Cadets in CyberPatriot teams, one component of Air Force Junior ROTC study at Bob Jones High School, entered national competition on Jan. 19.

The objective of the CyberPatriots organization is to prepare the next generation of work in computer science and cybersecurity.

Abigail Warren, Brandon Clark and Ethan Fury served as team leads and motivated their fellow members to prepare for the difficult work that they all faced in the CyberPatriots contest.

“The teams got ready to handle the competition in a quick and smooth fashion,” Maj. Dr. Melissa M. Lacey said. As Senior Aerospace Science Instructor at Bob Jones, Lacey coaches the Elite Knight recruits and CyberPatriots teams.

From the five teams at Bob Jones, three teams are composed totally of AFJROTC cadets. Warren is the team lead for CyberKnights, while Clark leads CyberBlue, and Fury is leader for CyberForce.

Warren is known for great dedication and impeccable leadership skills. Clark proves leadership knowledge and great interaction with his team members. Fury has inspiring energy that he brings to every competition to guide fellow members.

This year, Bob Jones sponsored two teams, Patriots1 and Patriots2. AFJROTC sponsored three teams — CyberForce, CyberBlue and CyberKnights. “Our CyberForce team finished overall second place at the state level for Alabama. All teams ranked within their tier,” Lacey said.

These teams’ efforts qualified for state honors: CyberForce, State Level for Alabama, second place overall; CyberBlue with second-place award, Gold tier; CyberKnights in third place in Gold tier; Patriots1 with third place open in Platinum tier; and Patriots2 at third place in Silver tier.

The competition started like a typical contest with smooth direction, maybe seeming a slow pace to anyone without experience on a team. As the competition progressed, the interaction grew more difficult for everyone.

The teams worked hard for six hours straight without time for breaks or even lunch. Coach Lacey brought pizza, snacks and drinks to the teams so they did not have to leave Patriot Hall and break their momentum.

Freshmen team members Manfred Rosero and Drew Crocker both felt confident after their teams’ performance and said that they thoroughly enjoyed the intense competition.

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