The Button Man

By Mattie Zautner, Current Staff

How many buttons can one student fit on a backpack?

That is the question Cooper Holbrook, a senior at West Bend West High School, is trying to answer. Starting this past summer, Holbrook has been collecting athletic buttons featuring the faces of his friends and classmates. He walks around the hallways of the high school showing off both schools’ amazing athletes and is always looking for opportunities to expand his collection.

“It all started in the summer when I got Nate Craighead’s button,” Holbrook said. “He was my first button, and I put it on and then decided that I’m going to try to get everyone’s button.”

Almost every inch of Holbrook’s backpack is covered by smiling faces. His button count is approaching 30 and Holbrook has plans to get more.

When asked how many he can fit on his backpack, Holbrook wasn’t sure.

“That is a good question, we will have to find out,” he said.

Holbrook wears buttons of athletes from both East and West High School and many different sports.

“I want people to be supported as members of their team, and I want to show the whole school that they are a proud member of that team,” Holbrook said.

When asked if he thinks he boosts school spirit with his backpack full of buttons, Holbrook responded with, “I don’t think I do, I know I do.”

The main struggle with a backpack brimming with buttons is that they are bound to fall off.

“There’s some days when two or three will fall off, and then others where none fall off,” he said. “On average, I would say one button a day falls off,” Holbrook said.

“It all started in the summer when I got Nate Craighead’s button.”
– Cooper Holbrook

Holbrook’s search for buttons has led him to acquire a button of someone he does not personally know.

“Someone asked me if I wanted this guy’s button and said he’s a cool guy, so I said sure,” he said. “His name is Charles, and he plays football for East.”

As a member of the West football, basketball and tennis teams, there are a few buttons of himself that Cooper has given out to his friends.

“I believe there are two buttons of the legendary Cooper Holbrook out in the school right now,” Holbrook said. “But the basketball buttons are coming, so if you want one get in line.”

One of the proud owners of Cooper’s button is West junior Katie Hayes. Hayes plays tennis and basketball, and Cooper has a collection of Katie buttons from her many seasons of playing these sports.

“I think it’s funny and cool that there is more than one of me,” Hayes said. “It’s like a timeline of Katie.”

“I think his backpack is awesome!” said West engineering teacher Ryan Johnson. “He absolutely boosts school spirit and I look forward to seeing how many buttons he gets.”

(Photos by Mattie Zautner, Current Staff.)

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