Cyber Patriot Team begins competing

The newest team at St. John Vianney High School, the Cyber Patriot Team, has its first competition this weekend.

“We continue to seek learning opportunities for our students to explore things they are potentially interested or passionate about,” Principal Ian Mulligan said. “As the field of computer science continues to grow, cyber security has become a major area of interest for our students. After speaking with several students who may study cyber security in college, we felt that starting our Cyber Patriot Team was a way to gauge interest and give those young men a chance to learn about it in preparation for college.” 

The Griffins are scheduled to make their competition debut this weekend.

“The Cyber Patriot Team was driven by Ian and my past life with global security,” said the team’s coach, Dan Didier. “The Cyber Patriot Team competes in up to five rounds each consisting of a Windows-based security event and a CISCO-based networking event. You have six hours to complete each round.” 

The first round of the competition is Nov. 2-4, the second round is December 7-9, the third round and the state championship is January 11-13, Didier said. If the team does well enough they could qualify to move on to the national semifinals Feb. 1-3 and the national finals April 7-11.

Senior Nick Sabatino was interested in studying cyber security in college and pursuing a career in the field. He heard about the formation of the team and was asked if he wanted to participate. 

“The meetings I have gone to have been very interesting,” Sabatino said. “I was able to work with the rest of the team to try and secure a network by using different software such as Linux and Microsoft. It is tedious work because we have to look at all of the tiny details in order to completely secure the network. However, we are able to take things slow and try different techniques such as using code.”

Sabatino, who also plays volleyball, has enjoyed his experience with a different kind of team at Vianney.

“I believe joining the Cyber Patriot Team has the ability to expand your knowledge with technology and how it works,” he said. “It opens up several opportunities such as working with a team, learning how to complete a goal with tedious work, and how important it is that we have careers such as cyber security. There are numerous things a person must learn in cyber security and as a team we work together to find a goal.”