SALEM, Ore. - Nicole Smith and Esmeralda Pacheco each won soccer shootouts sponsored by the Elks Lodge at the local, district, and state levels recently. Unfortunately the pair were unable to advance to regional competition because there were too few competitors in their last shootout.
The competition is similar to the popular hoops shoot in basketball and consists of soccer players kicking at different sections of the goal to score points. The upper corners are worth five points and right down the middle is only one point. Each girl took three practice kicks and then had 15 tries from about 10 yards away.
Smith is an eighth grader at Ilwaco Middle School and is the daughter of Mark and Shelli Berkenbile. She said, "We were able to stay in a hotel two nights and everything was free. There was a large crowd and we got nice trophies." She's been playing soccer since kindergarten and says it's her favorite sport. Nicole also plays softball, volleyball, track, and basketball.
Pacheco is a sixth grader at Hilltop and also lists soccer as her favorite. Esmeralda enjoys basketball. She won in the K-12 classification and Smith won in the U-14 group.