Heritage High School senior wins Inspiration Award
By Matthew Stewart | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A Heritage High School senior is continuing to inspire people throughout the country.
During a school pep rally Friday, Schuyler LaRue, the son of son of Michael and Tracy LaRue, received the Inspiration Award.
The award is presented by the Army National Guard and USA Today to athletes across the country whose personal courage has enabled them to overcome insurmountable odds and go above and beyond in their communities, and whose loyalty has inspired others to make the most out of every opportunity.
Nationwide, 14 student-athletes from 13 schools received the Inspiration Award. LaRue is Tennessee’s sole recipient.
The senior, who saved a 68-year-old Kingsport man’s life at the state wrestling championships in Franklin, was an easy choice, said Matthew Wade, USA Today Sports Media Group project manager. “We’ve been traveling across the country this past year, looking for 13 inspirational stories related to sports. His story came to our attention, and it really stood out.
“He was about to compete at a tournament,” Wade said. “He should have been focusing on the match, but he saw a man collapse and saved his life. He then went out and competed. It’s an inspiration to this school and community.”
LaRue, who has been a Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Parks and Recreation Commission lifeguard, spotted Ron Bussey collapsed Feb. 14 in a Williamson County Ag Expo Center restroom and administered CPR before emergency personnel arrived from the far end of the complex, according to reports. Bussey was later taken to Williamson Medical Center where he was treated.
“He really stepped up,” said Sgt. 1st Class Malcolm Campbell. “Most 17- and 18-year-olds would have run out of the restroom and got someone else. However, he got down there and administered CPR. He saved a man’s life. He’d make a fine National Guardsman.”
“We’ve known for a while that Schuyler (LaRue) is a terrific person and a terrific student-athlete,” said Principal Earl McMahan. “I’m very excited that the Army National Guard and USA Today recognize that he’s a terrific young man, as well. He’s one of 14 honored students nationwide, which is a tribute to Schuyler, his family, and his training. It’s always nice to see someone who does all the right things get rewarded.”
LaRue downplayed his actions in an interview Friday with The Daily Times. “I’m humbled and honored to receive this award. However, I don’t think it was necessary. I did what anybody else would have done. I was simply in the right place at the right time.”