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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Never far from home

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Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

The final game of the regular season for the Texas A&M football team concluded on Saturday, Nov. 27 against LSU in Baton Rouge, La. Traditions like Midnight Yell and an All-Aggie Tailgate kept the Aggie Spirit alive for the game against the Tigers despite being on the road. 

There’s no place like home … kind of. 

To end an intriguing season of Texas A&M football, current and former students alike made the journey to nearby Baton Rouge, La., to get their gameday on, Aggie style.

On Friday, Nov. 26, the Aggies took to the streets of Tigerland to practice the beloved tradition of Midnight Yell. While it was open to the public, the event was mainly composed of maroon and white aficionados and Aggie Ring-owners, including three members of the Class of 2023. 

Economics and political science junior Taylor Bess said her biggest motivator for making the drive from College Station was her desire to see the season finale. 

“It’s the last game; we’re just super excited to be out here,” Bess said on Friday night. “I have family here, [some who went to] LSU, so we’re just coming out here to enjoy it. We’re excited to see the student section, see what it’s like to not be in Kyle Field and hopefully watch the Aggies win.” 

Though she’s had previous experience with away Midnight Yell, agricultural leadership junior Cate Norris said it was great to attend again and interact with non-Aggies participating.

“I went to [away game] Midnight Yell a long time ago, on my 13th birthday or something, and it was not at midnight,” Norris said. “I saw some LSU people around, which I thought was really cool because they want to come and see what it’s all about. I thought that it was really fun that other people, not just our students, wanted to come see this.”

Agricultural communications and journalism junior Bella Alaniz said she was also excited to interact with the Tigers’ fanbase, but for different reasons.

“I really want to see the LSU fans,” Alaniz said. “I’ve seen so many videos of them, and they’re ruthless. I’m so used to the 12th Man energy, and I’ve never been to an away-game, so I want to hear a stadium full of students and go to another game.”

While current students had a strong showing in the bayou, former students also made their mark by inviting current, former and even future Aggies to the All-Aggie Tailgate. The Cajun version of the maroon and white pregame was hosted by the Baton Rouge A&M Club and the Association of Former Students, featuring free Slovacek’s sausage, photo opportunities, drinks and community for all. 

Jeanne Siero, Class of 1990 and the Baton Rouge A&M Club’s vice president of communications, finds this continuation of the Aggie community to be special. Siero said she has been grateful for the way the club connects Aggies of all ages.

The most special part of any of the [A&M] clubs that I have been a member of [is] that wonderful tradition [of both] older and younger people coming out,” Siero said. “That’s what it takes to really make it a successful club, and that’s what we’re trying to do here. Being [connected to] Texas A&M binds us all.” 

The tailgate just scratches the surface of the club’s events roster, as a traditionally popular event is the local Muster ceremony. Bonnie Martin, Class of 1988 and Baton Rouge’s Muster chair, said this remembrance holds a special place for all Aggies, but especially helps connect former students.

It’s a really great honor to host Muster, because it’s an opportunity to kind of serve as a hub of communication for Aggies, either in your local area or [who are] traveling to that area. They’ll seek you out,” Martin said. “They just can’t wait to get together and talk about their stories about being at A&M. It’s a very magical time and something that connects us with 100 years of Aggies.” 

Muster has remained a well-attended event for the group throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but President Heath Hendricks, Class of 1999, said the club has recently expanded to include more frequent, light-hearted events. 

“We had our first annual 42 tournament last year, and our [vice president] of activities helped organize that,” Hendricks said. “We had a little trophy for the winner, and it was quite nice. We had a good turn-out for that, so just once every month [we are] doing something to engage [our club].”

Hendricks, Martin and Siero, alongside the rest of the club, said they hope to engage Aggies of all interests and ages, whether it’s through watch parties, tailgates, tournaments or even “Reveille and Rosé” painting nights. 

For Sid Scheumack, a hopeful member of the Class of 2027, the commitment of A&M clubs shows the everyday effect the Aggie Network can have. He said having two parents who are former students, plus being surrounded by a group of equally involved Aggies, has been a positive experience.

“It gives me a really good perspective on the Aggie Network and how true that claim is about Aggies stay[ing] connected even after four years of college,” Scheumack said. “It also shows how big that network really is and how influential it is. We’ll try to go to all of the Aggie tailgates to be involved, to volunteer and help with all of the functions we can.” 

In the realm of statistics, the Aggies had a great showing, despite the six-hour drive from College Station. Though not all members of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band were in attendance, the upperclassmen well-represented the nationally famous ensemble, easily rivaling the size of the Tiger Band. In terms of attendance, Aggies continue to set the example, as Tiger Stadium remained partially full for the final home matchup, with an attendance of 91,565, paling in comparison to A&M’s last home game, against a non-conference opponent, though the stadiums’ maximum capacities differ only by 400 seats. 

Even after kickoff, Aggies continued to connect with their peers from LSU. Environmental studies sophomore Addie Laucius said she came to the game on short notice, but enjoyed getting to see many of her friends. 

“My friend who I met at camp [a student at LSU] has been trying to get me out here for a while, so we figured this would be a good time with Thanksgiving break,” Laucius said. “I ran into my friend Ivan [who goes to A&M] and three of my friends from [summer] camp.” 

Laucius said she was surprised by the difference between A&M and LSU gameday atmospheres and revelries, but still enjoyed her time.

“Tailgating is pretty much the same. [But] the things they’re allowed to say and do, the conduct, is different,” Laucius said. “It’s fun to see a different school’s side of it. It’s different vibes, but the same level of energy.”

Though a bowl game is not far in the future, this Midnight Yell and away game marked another page in the final chapter for the senior Yell Leaders. At Yell Practice, Head Yell Leader Memo Salinas said he has been impressed with the energy of the Aggie family outside of College Station.

“Thank y’all for making our job so easy and representing our school so well throughout the year,” Salinas said.
 

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