WATERVILLE — A team from Winslow High School on Saturday won the first Thomas Cup, a competition focusing on technology, project management, innovation, creativity, teamwork and leadership.

The Big Boyzzzz team of five members from Winslow High competed against 55 other high-school-age students from 12 high schools around the state in the all night event, which started at 6 p.m. Friday in Larry Mahaney Gymnasium at Thomas College. The 14 teams that competed also included home-schooled students.

The awards ceremony for the Thomas Cup, which included contests with themes such as cyberdefense, gaming, computer science and technology, was held Saturday morning.

During the events, teams of three to five students tested their skills in challenges that included a League of Legends gaming competition, Nerf wars with robots, and a cybersecurity version of capture the flag.

The events are tied to a group of educational disciplines known as science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.

Winners from the Winslow team are seniors Josh Morissette and Jordan Maxell, both 17, and juniors Sylas Rayborn, Benjamin Lemieux and Jacob Crosby, all 16. Maxell is president of the Computer Club at Winslow High and team members all are members of that club.


Maxell said they did not know they had won the Thomas Cup until the awards ceremony, as the team won the first and second rounds, undefeated, but lost both times on the third round.

“Apparently, we did amazing in the cybersecurity, so we got first place,” Maxwell said.

Team members, looking tired and bleary-eyed after having been up all night, said a former Winslow Computer Club president, Noah Mann, is now a Thomas student and attended the competition to root the team on.

“He told us that he believed we could win and he thought we had a really good chance,” Maxell said. “I didn’t think we could win, but we did, and I’m glad we made him proud.”

College officials said the Thomas Cup aims to focus on technology, but competitors needed more than just technical skills to succeed. The best teams combine project management, innovation, creativity, teamwork, leadership and more in order to overcome the challenges, officials said.

“It is exciting to see high school students have the lights come on and see that they can be such high achievers in their careers,” said professor Frank Appunn, the event’s lead organizer, “that they can earn very high salaries in Maine … if they seize the opportunities that we present. This will also help Maine improve, as we have so many key vacancies needing these students, and they will allow our state to become stronger and richer.”


Appunn, who teaches information technology management at Thomas, said the students enjoyed the competition.

“The Thomas Cup started as an idea, and the chairman of the Board of Trustees took an interest and offered to sponsor it,” Appunn said Saturday.

Thomas students at the event also talked to the high school students about job opportunities available in Maine.

Participating teams also included those from Cony High School in Augusta and Mid Maine Technical Center in Waterville.

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