In an increasingly virtually connected world, the necessity of security has been pushed more and more into the forefront. The next generation is already getting a jump on the latest defense and security methods.

Buena High School’s CyberPatriots team is heading into the national finals this weekend of the nationwide CyberPatriots competition — a cyber security competition for middle and high school students — for the first time in eight years.

Sgt. First Class and Buena High School JROTC Army Instructor Centoria Louden said the team has won the national competition twice before in 2011 and 2014.

She said this year’s team has sailed through the preliminary competitions, finishing in first place in the state competition in December and winning the semifinal title in January, qualifying for the national finals.

“So this year, we’re trying to get back to that level of excellence,” Louden said on Friday morning, the beginning of the three-day competition.

Interested in learning more? Check out our coverage HERE.

Stay tuned for our follow-up coverage on the results from this year's competition at