The cyber team at Enochs High School took first place in the Central Valley’s California Mayors Cyber Cup competition less than a year after it was formed. The success was the product of hard work by dedicated students and a supportive network of coaches and mentors to help them along the way.
The Enochs team started at the beginning of the school year after junior Luke LeCain attended a cyber camp at Modesto Junior College (MJC) last summer. He was immediately taken by the experience and recruited 10 of his friends to form two cyber teams.
LeCain and his teammates presented the California Mayors Cyber Cup trophy to Modesto Mayor Ted Brandvold at a City Council meeting. They will go on to compete in the California Cyber Innovation Challenge this summer at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
In addition to winning the California Mayors Cyber Cup, the Enochs High School teams also performed well in the CyberPatriot competition. LeCain already has his sights set on bigger goals for next year.
“CyberPatriot gave me a way to learn new skills, develop skills I already had and see how I stack up against the rest of the U.S.,” LeCain said. “Next year, I would like both of my teams to compete at the platinum level, and at least one of my teams go to regionals.”
Brent Wedge, a computer science instructor at Modesto Junior College and coordinator of the school’s cybersecurity program, serves as a mentor to the Enochs cyber teams. He previously worked as a systems analyst in the K-12 system and used those connections to gain the buy-in needed for cyber teams.
Thanks to support from ICT-DM Deputy Sector Navigator Dennis Mohle, Wedge hopes to expand the program to more high schools in the Central Valley and establish a cybersecurity pathway that will align with MJC and four-year universities.
“These efforts are making cybersecurity education relevant in a rural area, a model we would like to encourage for replication,” Wedge said. “My goal is to see the program grow in the Central Valley and encourage students to consider cybersecurity in their studies. I want to see it turn into success for their college future.”
DSN Dennis Mohle added, “I was so impressed with MJC’s summer camp last year. The camp participants were 100 percent engaged for an intensive three days which, aside from CyberPatriot instruction and competition, included emoji sewing, lock picking, and hacker trivia. All campers had their own leetspeak hacker aliases and learned essential teamwork skills while immersed in cybersecurity challenges. The Modesto area is leading the way with Turlock High School also representing the Central Region in this summer’s CCIC at Cal Poly. I am happy to see this summer’s camp expanded to five days and can’t wait to see what the MJC camp will produce this year.”
LeCain plans to major in cybersecurity and computer science. He is already hard at work promoting next year’s cyber competitions and has made valuable connections with business, government, and community leaders in the process.
“CyberPatriot is helping me to gain knowledge in my field as well as publicity from my local government, media, and California Cyberhub,” LeCain said.
MJC will hold its next cyber camp July 22-26. For more information, visit https://www.eventbrite.