About Yell Leaders
HISTORY OF YELL LEADERS
When A&M was an all-male military college in 1907, students often invited ladies from Texas Women’s University to take the train to College Station to attend Aggie football games. Then as now, a certain amount of tickets were set aside for guests, and these would be handed out based on seniority, so freshmen were rarely able to bring guests to the games.
According to legend, during one football game the Aggies were being out-scored so badly that the ladies were threatening to leave the game from boredom. Therefore, the upperclassmen ordered the freshmen, or “fish,” to find a way to entertain the bored ladies. The freshmen raided a janitor’s closet and changed into the white coveralls they found there, and began leading the crowd in yells from the track in front of the stands. The freshmen got so much attention from the ladies that it was decided that only upperclassmen would be allowed to participate in this entertainment in the future.
The Aggie Yell Leaders have evolved into a team of five upperclassmen, three seniors and two juniors. Student body elections to choose the Aggie Yell Leaders are held annually, and it is not uncommon for more than twice as many students to vote for yell leader candidates than vote in the Student Body President elections.The Yell Leaders attend all home and away football games, all home basketball games, all home volleyball games, all home soccer matches, and post-season football, basketball, and volleyball. They can always be found on the sidelines of the playing field in front of the student section.
MIDNIGHT YELL PRACTICE
One of the most well known and popular traditions at Texas A&M is Midnight Yell Practice. Yell Practice began as a post dinner activity in 1913, when different corps companies would gather together to “learn heartily the old time pep.” However, it was not until 1931, that Yell Practice as it is known today, was held before the t.u. game. It began, when a group of cadets were gathered in Peanut Owen’s dorm room in Puryear Hall. Someone suggested that all of the freshmen should fall out and meet on the steps of the YMCA building at midnight. The cadets notified senior yell leaders Horsefly Berryhill and Two Gun Herman from Sherman, who could not authorize it, but said that they may just show up. Well, needless to say, the word spread quickly, and when the freshmen began to arrive, there were railroad flares and torpedoes stuck in flower pots around the YMCA building to light the area. The first Midnight Yell had begun!!!Today, Midnight Yell is held the night before a home game in Kyle Field and is regularly attended by over 25,000 people. Also for away games, a site is designated for a Midnight Yell in the city of our opponent on the night before the game. For example, for the t.u. game, it is held at the Texas Capitol in Austin. For a yell at Kyle Field, yell leaders lead the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band and the Twelfth Man into the stadium.
The yell leaders lead the crowd in old army yells, the singing of the fight song, and tell fables of how the Aggies are going to beat the everlivin’ hell out of our opponent for the next day. Lastly, the lights go out, and Aggies kiss their dates. If they don’t have a date, all they have to do is flick their lighters. As the story goes, the flames make it easier for two dateless people to find each other, and maybe they won’t be dateless anymore!The purpose of Midnight Yell is to pump up the Twelfth Man for the next day’s big game!