Inspirational act by LaRue of Heritage wins national honor
There’s a reason the best sports movies are about high school, according to the presenters of the Inspiration Award — the Army National Guard and USA Today High School Sports.
Like the principles that inspire the Guard, the Inspiration Award recognizes loyalty, duty, respect, self service, honor, integrity and personal courage.
Movies such as “Remember The Titans,” “Hoosiers,” “The Blind Side,” and “Coach Carter” bring those traits to the silver screen. Schuyler LaRue, a Heritage High School senior, brings those traits to Blount County and, as one of 14 winners of a 2013 Inspiration Award, serves as a model for others to emulate across the country.
The son of Michael and Tracy LaRue, Schuyler LaRue fulfills the requirements for the honor. The award goes to athletes 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.
It was an opportunity that his coach, John Davis, deserves partial credit for making happen. LaRue wasn’t all that anxious to travel to Franklin in February for the Tennessee state wrestling championship tournament at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center. But his coach convinced LaRue to compete. The tourney didn’t necessarily provide LaRue with the match of his life, but it surely turned out to be the match of Ron Bussey’s life.
LaRue was in a restroom before his opening wrestling match when he saw Bussey stumble, hit his head and collapse. Most people likely would have run out of the restroom to get help for the unconscious 68-year-old man from Kingsport. Not LaRue. Over the past two summers, he was a lifeguard for the Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Parks and Recreation Commission at John Sevier Pool.
LaRue had paid $200 for first aid and CPR training to prepare for his lifeguard job. His CPR skills, fortunately, were never needed at the pool. They proved vital at the wrestling tournament.
As LaRue did compressions on Bussey, the man’s pulse came and went — but he was alive when an EMT got there and transported him to a hospital for treatment and recovery.
LaRue said in an interview with The Daily Times that he was humbled and honored to receive the Inspiration Award: “I did what anybody else would have done. I was simply in the right place at the right time.”
He told USA Today that when he was trained in first aid and CPR, he hadn’t been keen on paying the $200 for the course. But it turned out to be money well spent.
“You can’t put a price on a life, so without a doubt, it was worth it,” LaRue said.
LaRue truly is an inspiration.