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SSAHS Esports Program Takes the Cyber Warrior Champion Title

On Thursday, December 14, SSAHS students from the Esports program competed in the UTSA Cyber Warrior Network Esports League, contributing to the development of essential skills for Cybersecurity Careers. Our SSAHS students swept the competition by placing in all the top 4 positions, as well as covering the scoreboard in 6th,7th and 9th place. Notably, Gabriel Tijerina, the first-place winner, and Joseph Gomez, the second-place winner, played pivotal roles in guiding their school to success.  

Through the Cyber Warrior Platform, students and classes compete to earn points based on their gameplay, streaming, social media sharing, and video survey completion. This platform not only allows students to hone their skills but also facilitates connections with businesses seeking specific talents. Domingo Ruiz, Esports Director and Sponsor of STEM Division, expresses how this program’s “competitive format helps to draw students in from the already established gaming community.” Some may think that Esports is heavily focused on gaming, but platforms such as Cyber Warrior allow students to learn the ins and outs of cybersecurity while playing with artificial intelligence. “This opens the door to students who have no prior knowledge in cybersecurity,” Ruiz explains. 

Aside from Cyber Warrior preparing students for their higher education, Esports has grown exponentially since its initiation in 2018. “We usually average over 120 students who are involved in the program and last year we reached our largest group of students by having 176 students sign up,” mentioned Ruiz. Classes such as AP Computer Science, Python Programming, and Fundamentals of Cybersecurity that are offered at SSAHS work hand-in-hand with their Esports club to apply the information to work life scenarios. 

What are the next steps for Esports? In conjunction with cybersecurity, this program has grown into other areas in technology, such as initiating a student podcast called ‘Pawcast’. They have also created a STEM division in the program to enhance competitiveness with their counterparts and gain work-like experience. In addition, conversations have been in the works about expanding their drone racing courses to elementary and middle schools, which provides early exposure to programming training aligned with Python certification. This initiative empowers students to get a head start on their education and prepares them for upper level course work. 

SSAHS students, under the guidance of Mr. Ruiz, has been instrumental in pioneering these initiatives, fostering an environment where student ideas come to fruition. With their Esports program, students have the ability to seek new interests and explore an educational field that is necessary for our world climate. SSAISD is proud to see the great work our students at SSAHS have been doing with their Esports program, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for their future!