WALLA WALLA -- With soccer cleats on and her pant hems rolled up, Tiffany Buissink prepared to send a soccer ball flying across the Walla Walla High School lawn.
The Wa-Hi student teacher, a former soccer player, marked the start of the second day of the Kick Like a Pro competition, held this week in front of the school's commons.
After a couple of disappointing initial shots, Buissink eventually socked the ball into the net at 45 mph -- a velocity recorded by a traffic speed radar on loan from the Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office.
The lunchtime event was coordinated by the school's AVID Club, which came up with the idea as a fundraiser for a new scholarship, and to raise awareness for a bigger soccer competition later in the month. AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a national effort to get students thinking and preparing for college.
Club members were looking for ways to bring more awareness to the club, while doing their part to help someone realize a dream of attending college. With plans to establish a scholarship, came the idea for soccer events at the school. And a student versus staff soccer game was planned.
The Blue Devil College Cup will pit students against staff members May 20 at 6 p.m. on the school's soccer field. The winner will secure a bronze soccer-ball trophy on loan from the Walla Walla Foundry, and bragging rights around campus.
Ana Andrade, vice-president of the school's AVID Club, said the club goal is to raise $4,000 for scholarships that would go annually to a Wa-Hi student with plans to attend college and exhibiting need.
Although the college cup is a free event and open to the public, students will be asking for donations for the scholarship fund.
And over three days this week, students and staff who tried the Kick Like a Pro competition each paid $1 for the chance to record their speed.
The five fastest kickers will compete during halftime of the college cup for a chance to take first place.
And although Buissink's kick came out strong, student Andrew Glaeser took a quick break between classes to give the event a try. His 61 mph kick was the fastest of the first lunch attempts, but Glaeser, the Wa-Hi soccer team goalkeeper, didn't get to stay to see other attempts.
"I gotta go to class," he said.
Maria P. Gonzalez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8317.