Renton Junior High team competes in cyber defense competition hosted by Air Force Association

Renton Junior High’s CyberPatriot Team competes in the middle school division in CyberPatriot XI, the Air Force Association’s National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. (Photo courtesy of William Hilliker)

Press release published March 11, 2019 — 12 p.m. EST

A team of middle school students from Renton Junior High School in Huron Township recently concluded an exceptional season of 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 (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future.

CyberPatriot’s core program – 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 is divided into 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.

In all, over 6,300 teams registered to compete in CyberPatriot XI. Led by coach William Hilliker, the team of students from Renton Junior High School excelled in the qualifying rounds, demonstrating teamwork, critical thinking skills, and technical knowledge key to a successful career in cybersecurity. The team’s performance earned it a spot in the Semifinal Round. Prior to the Semifinal round, the team was ranked fifth in the state and placed 328 of 850 teams nationally in the Middle School Division. The extreme cold weather caused a watermain to rupture on Monroe County Community College’s campus, flooding the computer laboratory where the team competed, thus they were not able to compete in the Semifinals, ending the season early.

“The young men performed extremely well! They tackled issues with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Linux and Windows 2012 Server. Plus, they ate a lot pizza and subs. I hope they learned a little about cybersecurity and that not everyone needs to be a ‘hacker’ to have a job in cybersecurity. Jack M., Liam H., Cooper G., Joshua L., Tony T. and Luke H. learned how to work as a team and further developed their critical thinking skills.” stated William Hilliker

Top teams in the Open and All Service Divisions’ Platinum Tier are set to compete in the CyberPatriot XI National Finals Competition on April 8-10 in Baltimore, Md.

More information is available at or from the CyberPatriot staff at

The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage.


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