Pass it back, Ags
5 for Yell preps to represent maroon and white
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 01:03
Since he was 6 years old, Roy May dreamed of following in the footsteps of his father, Class of 1966, as an A&M yell leader. When the 33-year-old sophomore engineering major was elected junior yell leader — along with his 5 for Yell running mates — he did just that.
Seniors Hunter Cook, Ryan Crawford and Chris Powell join juniors Patrick McGinty and May as 2013-2014 yell leaders, all members of the Corps of Cadets.
Each cadet’s path to yell leader was unique. Crawford and Cook return as experienced yell leaders, May once served as a sentinel for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Washington, D.C., and Powell is the first African-American yell leader to be elected from the Corps.
May took a detour in his journey to Aggieland by serving 12 years in the Army before coming to A&M in 2010.
“I think the fun part about [being a veteran] is where the fifth yell leader initially came from,” May said. “After World War II, when the veterans were returning, that was actually the origin of the fifth yell leader. So more than anything, I am just glad to be a part of the history.”
May lives off-campus with his wife and seven-year-old daughter, a privilege he is granted as part of Delta Company, an outfit in the Corps specifically for veterans.
May said his family’s daily support encourages him as he balances the roles of student, yell leader, father and husband.
“My wife is an Army veteran, as well,” May said. “I have deployed [before], so she has been through me being gone for way longer than a weekend. My wife and my daughter are fully supportive and super excited.”
May said the age difference between the candidates didn’t even cross his mind.
“I don’t think of those guys in terms of age,” May said. “Those guys as a whole are so mature and such great examples, you’d never really think about how old they are.”
Hunter Cook, junior construction science major and member of Company D-1, emphasized the influence May has had on him.
“Being a veteran, [May] has so much wisdom to bestow upon us as 22-year-olds,” Cook said.
Having served as 2012-2013 junior yell leader, Cook said his role will look different than it did last year.
“Seniors are a little bit more in charge, naturally,” Cook said. “They are in charge of making sure Midnight Yell is set up and making sure everything is done correctly. [They] also kind of instruct the juniors on how to be better yell leaders and better public speakers.”
Cook also emphasized his enthusiasm to share with the first-time yell leaders — May, Powell and McGinty — the excitement of representing A&M in the Southeastern Conference.
Though their spring schedules will be busy, Cook said the summer is one of the busiest times of the year for yell leaders — a season packed with visits to Fish Camps, preseason football events and other instances for which they are called to represent the University.
Patrick McGinty, sophomore kinesiology major and part of Company K-1, said hearing his name called at the election results was a humbling moment and that the moment made the work put into the campaign worthwhile.
Considering the recent transition of A&M to the SEC, McGinty expressed his hope to share the spirit of Aggieland throughout the football season.
“We are still new in the SEC, so several of the schools won’t be familiar with the unique tradition and culture that A&M holds,” McGinty said. “I look forward to sharing the unique traditions, history and culture that make Texas A&M such a unique university.”
Powell, junior sociology major and member of Company D-2, is the third African-American yell leader at A&M and the first from the Corps of Cadets.
“It’s awesome that I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to serve the Aggie family,” Powell said. “But more importantly, regardless of race, I want to ensure that I have no regrets with the platform with which I am given, that I don’t hesitate to do anything I can to have positive impacts on others.”
Powell’s father, Class of 1984, was also a member of the Corps of Cadets. Powell said he wants to be able to give back to the University as a yell leader since it has provided support for him and his family.
“My dad unfortunately passed away my sophomore year of high school and what was really touching for me to see was all of his buddies in his class in the Corps come up for the funeral,” Powell said. “That was kind of the first glimpse I got of the Aggie family and the Aggie spirit. I’m just really excited to do what I can to give back to the Aggie family.”
Crawford, junior political science major and member of Company E-2, grew up in Austin but found his way to A&M with the help of his dad.
“My step dad was actually an Aggie and he made a point to dress me up in maroon every thanksgiving when we played t.u.,” Crawford said.
As a sophomore in the Corps, Crawford also had the opportunity to represent the A&M by taking care of the University’s “First Lady,” Reveille.
“It was similar to what a yell leader does, basically representing A&M,” Crawford said. “That was a real humbling experience also because I got to meet some great A&M alumni and some great students just because I had Reveille.”
Crawford said the selection process for 5 for Yell, which involves their fellow cadets nominating and selecting the final candidates, sets this group apart.