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Student Puts Yorktown's Kicks on the Map

When James Schwerner enters the halls of the high school this September he plans to be fully prepared, toe to toe.

But before he takes his first steps into the high school as a freshman he’s planning to put Yorktown on the map by entering “Rep your Sneakerhood Contests.”

“The purpose of the contest is to represent your sneakerhood and you’re judged on things like story telling and networking, video editing just how you repped your neighborhood,” Schwerner explained.

Schwerner’s love for sneakers came last year when he was trying to select the right pair that would fit his unique feet.

“I have flat feet so I needed a good support sneaker and I went to foot locker and really wanted a pair of Lebron James’ shoes, but they were so expensive,” he said. “So instead I went with a pair of Jordans and I really got hooked on them.”

Since then, Schwerner estimates he’s purchased 10 or 12 sneakers that he keeps as a collection. He will wear the sneakers occasionally and is careful to clean them afterwards, but there’s one pair he’s holding for the next highlight in his life—high school.

Schwerner is saving his Air Jordan Retro 11 sneakers for that special day when he takes his first strides into high school. Until then he said, he’s going to continue making more videos to represent his sneakerhoood—and plans to continue the series and enter Rep Your Sneakerhood 3.

The results of the second contest were announced Wednesday, and Schwerner secured fifth out of about 40 contestants. He taught himself how to shoot video and edit video using his iPad and iMovie.

“Most of the editing was done in the middle of the night,” he said. “I had finals and lacrosse practice so many times that week so I really could only fit in a few hours each day. But I got it finished.”

In the video that won him fifth place, Schwerner gave a tour of Yorktown, showed off some shoes, and explained what he would like to see most brought to Yorktown. Schwerner is articulate and excited when he talks about his hobby of shoe collecting—so articulate in fact that you might think you were discussing hobbies with a much older gentleman who perhaps collected something traditional like postage stamps. Schwerner explained his interest in collecting sneakers is just something he fell into last year and likes to do in his free time.

“I really only started collecting them last year, but since then I’ve been hooked,” he said. “I’ve influenced some of my friends to be interested in sneakers, but it’s not very popular at Copper Beach. Some people think it’s ridiculous- but really that’s just their opinion.”

Representing the sneakers and stores he loves around Yorktown don’t just end with the contest—he’s also part of a YouTube partnership program where he makes his own videos describing some of his favorite kicks.

“People want to see the sneakers before they buy them, so I show them what it’s made of and the materials and different things like that,” he said. “I kind of give them almost a tour of the sneaker.”

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