Meet Your 2016-17 Yell Leaders

NDSU students Kyle Knutson, Amelia Pfarrer and Katie Payette have been named 2016-17 Yell Leaders. Amelia Pfarrer and Katie Payette have been named Yell Leader Apprentice for 2016-17. They work with the NDSU Cheer Team and Gold Star Marching Band to engage fans and create a festive atmosphere at home football games.

Yell Leaders are selected by Bison Ambassadors, NDSU Athletics, and the NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association through an interview process. They are judged on enthusiasm, Bison Pride, and voice.

They receive a scholarship from the NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association for their service. In 2011, the inaugural year for the Yell Leader program, Student Government also contributed to the Yell Leader scholarships.

Questions? Contact Danielle Bratvold at danielle@ndsualumni.com.


Kyle Knutson
Major: Zoology (Pre-Med)
Year in school: Senior
Hometown: Kathryn, N.D.
Activities: Pre-Med Association, Bison Ambassadors and intramural sports

Why did you want to be a Yell Leader?
When I started going to Bison football games my freshman year, I saw how the Yell Leaders were able to pump up the crowd and get everyone into the game. I had always joked with my friends that I could pull off the yellow suit, so when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it.

What will make you a good Yell Leader?
I am a very enthusiastic and outgoing person. My knowledge and passion for sports will only help me cheer on our athletes more. On top of that, I spend the summer camp counseling, so I definitely have had enough practice yelling.

What does Bison Pride mean to you?
Bison Pride is what NDSU is all about. You can see it just walking around campus. People carry themselves in a manner that shows they are proud to be a student at this university and support those that represent NDSU.

How do you feel about wearing a yellow suit to games?
The yellow suit is probably going to get a little warm at times, especially tailgating those first few weekends. But I enjoy being noticed in a crowd, so it will all be worth it.

Favorite tailgating food:
Anything off the grill: burgers, hotdogs, you name it.

Favorite Bison tradition:
Other than the strong tradition of winning, I love having the band at games. They add so much to the atmosphere, and I can't imagine a game without them. The music gets people pumped up.

Why did you choose to attend NDSU?
I wanted to stay relatively close to home, and after touring NDSU, I fell in love with it. The campus felt familiar, and everyone I interacted with was extremely kind. To this day that still holds true.


Amelia Pfarrer
Major: Marketing
Year in school: Senior
Hometown: Dayton, OH
Activities: Kappa Delta Sorority, Student Government, and the Disney College Program

Why did you want to be a Yell Leader?
When I went to my first Bison football game my freshman year in 2012, I saw the Yell Leaders standing in front of the student crowd putting everyone in high spirits. I remember turning to my freshman roommate and saying “I have to be that, I am always so full of energy!” At that exact moment I knew, I wanted to be a Yell Leader.

What will make you a good Yell Leader?
I feel that my happy-go-lucky attitude and energy will make me a good Yell Leader. I am always in a peppy upbeat mood and want to infect everyone else with a great and energetic attitude! Not only does it help the crowd stay energetic during games, it keeps the players spirits up as well!

What does Bison Pride mean to you?
Bison Pride means to me that we are all one. Bison Pride is something special, not only to our current students, but our past and future students as well. It’s a way that connects us to each other and gives us a special bond. You know that if you see another Bison Fan anywhere in the world you can throw up your horns and yell “GO BISON” and get the same reaction back.

How do you feel about wearing a yellow suit to games?
I couldn’t be happier! It has been my life goal to get to wear a bright and vibrant suit and I’m fulfilling a dream!

Favorite tailgating food:
HOW CAN YOU ONLY HAVE ONE?! If I really have to choose just ONE food, it would definitely be walking tacos. They are so delicious! Plus you can have it with Doritos or Fritos and any taco fixings you could ever want and NOT get messy! It’s the definition of convenience.

Favorite Bison tradition:
My favorite Bison tradition is turning the lights out before games and having Thunderstruck blast through the stereo system. You can’t listen to Thunderstruck in life and not want to rock out and sing along! It’s a great Bison tradition that I hope lives on! Plus who doesn’t love some classic AC/DC?!

Why did you choose to attend NDSU?
When I first came to college I had already lived in four different states and been to over 8 schools, so I was looking for another adventure. A place that was close to home, but far enough away that I could still say that I went “away” to college. I had toured NDSU and felt like it was a great size, not too small, not too big. I figured Fargo was a good place for me to call “home” for a while, even though snow and I are not best friends!


Katie Payette
Major: Apparel, Retail Merchandising and Design
Year in school: Junior
Hometown: Duluth, MN
Activities: Kappa Delta Sorority, FABO

Why did you want to be a Yell Leader?
Ever since I was a freshman, I saw the Yell Leaders and thought, “I need to be one of them.” I want to be the one who pumps up the student section and gets everyone engaged in the game. School spirit is one of my favorite things in the world and it is such an important factor at Bison games because it makes the atmosphere so much more exciting and it’s important to the athletes that they have our support as well.

What will make you a good Yell Leader?
I like to say go big or go home. I love going all out in my Bison wear and I love being loud and proud no matter what I’m doing. I’m outgoing and very enthusiastic about even the littlest things! Having that kind of attitude makes everything that much more enjoyable for everyone around me.

What does Bison Pride mean to you?
Bison Pride is something that every single person here at NDSU embodies. We all are here for different reasons and are pursuing different careers but Bison Pride is the one thing that we all share and we forget all of our differences to come together and support our Bison. I bleed green and gold and I could not be more proud to be a Bison!

How do you feel about wearing a yellow suit to games?
I’ve only dreamed about it since I was a freshman.

Favorite tailgating food:
Hot Dogs & Brats with an ice cold Diet Coke!

Favorite Bison tradition:
The Blue Key Homecoming Show and the Homecoming Parade!

Why did you choose to attend NDSU?
As soon as I set foot onto campus my junior year of high school, I knew I was home! I just got that feeling that this is where I belong, and everyone on campus was so welcoming – I couldn’t see myself anywhere else!


Meet Your 2016-17 Yell Leader Apprentice


LillianLily Wiemann
Major: English Education
Year in school: Freshman
Hometown: Walker, Minnesota
Activities: Greek Life and Model UN

Why did you want to be a Yell Leader?
I wanted to be a Yell Leader because they are the heart and soul of Bison Pride. I have always had insane amounts of school spirit, and being a Yell Leader would give me an amazing opportunity to show off my school spirit, and pass it on to other students, alumni, and spectators at sporting events.

What will make you a good Yell Leader?
I think I will be a good Yell Leader because I am very loud, and I’m not afraid to embarrass myself. My loud voice will make it easy for the crowds to hear me at athletic events, and I’m not afraid to do anything to get the crowd pumped up. I was also my high school’s mascot, so I have plenty of experience embarrassing myself and getting crowds pumped up.

What does Bison Pride mean to you?
Bison Pride is what brings our campus together. NDSU is full of diverse students in different majors with different hobbies, and it is truly amazing to see everyone bound together by this amazing pride we all have for our school! It is great to walk around campus and see so many people representing the Bison, and it is even better when you see someone wearing Bison gear off campus, and you both throw up the horns!

How do you feel about wearing a yellow suit to games?
I probably will never ever take it off. (except to wash it, could I have two?)

Favorite tailgating food:
I would consider myself to be in a serious relationship with all tailgating foods. Hot dogs and burgers on the grill are my favorite foods all the time, not just while tailgating before a Bison game!

Favorite Bison tradition:
I LOVE when all of the lights go out in the Fargodome before the football games, and we all count down until the football team runs out! At my first Bison football game, I got chills because it was so cool! I also loved traveling down to Frisco in January! It was so amazing to see Bison fans from all over the country coming to support our football team!

Why did you choose to attend NDSU?
When I first got onto campus I got that feeling that I was home, and I knew NDSU was the right choice for me! I am so happy I made the decision to attend this amazing school because it has opened doors for me and it has presented me with opportunities I couldn’t have received elsewhere!


2015-16 Yell Leader Team
2014-15 Yell Leader Team
2013-14 Yell Leader Team
2012-13 Yell Leader Team




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