By David A. Alpert
Call it the Stepheson effect.
A year after larger-than-life Alex Stepheson â06 graduated and took his trademark Batman backpack with him to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, many upper school students have sported child themed (and sized) backpacks around campus.Â
Stephesonâs former basketball teammate, Renaldo Woolridge â08 bought his $20 Spongebob Squarepants backpack before school started with basketball star Stepheson in mind.Â
âIt was cool to see him with his backpack last year,â Woolridge said. âWe have the same personality.Â Weâre both big, but the backpack shows weâre young at heart.âÂ Â Â
Woolridgeâs teachers think itâs funny that such a tall person has such a small backpack.Â
But Woolridge admits that the backpack can be pretty deceiving. Itâs roomier than it looks. Woolridge is just able to fit all of his books.Â
Colin Turner â08, on the other hand, wonât reveal his secret for being able to fit all of his belongings in his tiny Spiderman backpack.Â When pressed for an answer, Turner replied simply that, âItâs magic.â
Turner bought his backpack for $10.Â Itâs his third backpack this year, after his earlier Spiderman and Superman backpacks both ripped. Turner doesnât like to think that heâs copying Stepheson, but admits that he wouldnât have bought it if it hadnât been for him.Â
Shannon Hart â07 got her Little Mermaid backpack during spring break for $12.Â Hart said that she got the idea to buy it from other students.
âI didnât bring books to class anymore, and the backpack is just fun,â Hart said.Â
Another former teammate of Stephesonâs, James Dunleavy â07, bought his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles backpack at Aahs! for $20 a week before school.Â
Dunleavy thinks that most students bought the backpacks for the attention, but he did it because he had an easy schedule.Â
When Stepheson returned to campus earlier this month, he saw Woolridge with his backpack and said that he liked it, commenting that âSpongebob is sweet.âÂ