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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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One step away
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Get to know your yell leaders: Ben Ritchie

Photos+by+Jenna+Rabel
Photos by Jenna Rabel

Matt Campbell, city desk writer, sits down with junior yell leader Ben Ritchie to talk about his childhood, the importance of his faith and joining the Corps.
THE BATTALION: Growing up in a family of Longhorns, what made you interested in attending A&M?
RITCHIE: I lived in El Paso for most of my childhood and out there, Aggies are very few and far between. My Dad had an opportunity to open up his own business in the New Braunfels area, so he took it and we packed up and moved to New Braunfels going into my junior year in high school. At the time, moving to New Braunfels in the middle of my high school career was the worst thing I thought could happen but God was definitely at work. By moving to New Braunfels I grew so much in my faith, met my future wife, and became an Aggie. I was instantly “brainwashed” by the large Aggie community in New Braunfels, and it didn’t take me long to turn those horns upside down.
THE BATTALION: What made you decide to join the Corps at your New Student Conference?
RITCHIE: Back when I was going to be a freshmen at our NSC, they had this thing called a Corps “Open House” after the main presentation in Rudder your first night. What happened was every outfit had a booth set up and you went around talking to each one seeing if you fit well or if you liked it. Prior to my NSC, the Corps had been calling me relentlessly asking if I was going to join and each time I said no because I thought it was really weird. But when my parents and I got out of Rudder Theater after seeing the Yell Leaders and the rest of the Corps, my Dad said “That was pretty cool. We gotta go check that out.” I complained about being tired, then we went back and forth for a bit, but to make a long story short, I went to the open house and joined the Corps that night.
THE BATTALION: Your faith is very important to you. How has it affected your career as a college student?
RITCHIE: Well without Jesus Christ there is no way that I would even be here today. Being at A&M and even joining in the Corps, as you have heard, haven’t even really been my own doing. God was directing it the whole time. I have just been trying to follow his lead. As far as it affecting my college career, of course God doesn’t give me answers to my tests, although I could use the help. But what he does do, is give me wisdom when I am making these life decisions. He gives me strength when things get tough. He fills my tank when I am empty — I could go on forever.
THE BATTALION: How do you feel about being one of the first yell leaders on the newly renovated Kyle Field?
RITCHIE: I can speak for all five of us when I say that we are so fired up. And what is even better is that if the student body decides to keep Zach and I around for another year then we will get to see it all the way through.
THE BATTALION: What’s your favorite yell?
RITCHIE: Farmer’s Fight.
THE BATTALION: What has been your favorite experience as a yell leader so far?
RITCHIE: It has all been awesome. There is no way I could pick from all the stuff we have been able to do.
THE BATTALION: Which Aggie core value do you identify with the most or strive to embody and why?
RITCHIE: Honor. I do my best each day to honor my God and my family by my actions.
THE BATTALION: What’s it like being a part of a yell leader network?
RITCHIE: It is amazing. I never would have guessed how much wisdom I would have the opportunity to soak up. Throughout the summer we have had the privilege of eating dinner with a couple [of yell leaders]. Hearing the stories and the advice they give us is priceless.
THE BATTALION: What do you like to do in College Station during your spare time?
RITCHIE: If we don’t have an event to do I just like to hang out with my buds. Free time doesn’t really come that often in the fall and summer. I’m a pretty laid back guy anyways.
THE BATTALION: Do you have any advice for incoming freshmen?
RITCHIE: Make the most of every opportunity. Sometimes the things that seem like they would be the most awkward and boring, end up being some of your best memories. Step outside your comfort zone.

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  • Photos by Jenna Rabel

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