COLLEGE STATION -- Texas A&M head football coach Mike Sherman announced plans to bring four current Texas A&M students to the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington when the Aggies take on the University of Arkansas Razorbacks this Saturday, Oct. 3. The game is scheduled to kick at 6:30 p.m. central and will be televised by ESPN2.
"The 12th Man is the very best student body in the country," Sherman said. "We've had tremendous support from our students last year and at our first three home games this year. To recognize the support we have received, and to signify how important our student body is to this football team, I wanted four members of the student body to travel to Arlington with the team. We will continue to have one of our walk-ons wear the #12 jersey as a representative of our student body, but in the true essence of the original tradition, we will have four students to 'stand ready'. I hope I do not need their services against Arkansas, but I know they will be ready if called upon."
The Metroplex area is where the original 12th Man tradition has its roots. It was January of 1922 and Texas A&M was making its first appearance in a post-season bowl, the Dixie Classic held at Fair Park Stadium in Dallas. A&M faced off against Centre College and in a tough, physical football game, the Aggies had several injuries. Head coach Dana X. Bible called for E. King Gill to come out of the stands and Gill changed into an injured player's uniform. Gill stood ready on the sidelines in the event he was needed and since that time, the Texas A&M student body has stood ready in the stands of Aggie football games.
The Aggie Yell Leaders, the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band and the student body will host a yell practice at Kyle Field on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. Coach Sherman and the Aggie football team will make their way over to the stadium from the Coolidge Practice Fields to participate in the yell practice. The first 20,000 students to arrive will receive a numbered ticket much like a raffle. Four of those tickets will be drawn and the four representatives will travel with the team via bus to Arlington on Friday. They will be allowed to attend the team walk through at Cowboys Stadium, sit in various team meetings, stay at the team hotel and attend all activities as if they were a member of the traveling football squad. During the game, they will be in the team area and will be wearing 12th Man jerseys.
Students attending the Thursday yell practice will need to bring their student ID. The ID will be validated upon entrance at Gates 1 and 14. Both gates are on the student side of Kyle Field, Gate 1 at the southeast corner and Gate 14 at the northeast corner. Students will file into the stands much like a regular Midnight Yell. Gates open at 5 p.m. and students are encourage to NOT bring any purses, bags or backpacks as that will slow down the entry into the stadium.