Local heroes found in Potomac’s own backyard

By Lori Koenick and Allison Srour, Features Editors

With the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and recent influx of natural disasters, ordinary people performing heroic actions are not hard to find.  However, few people have heard of the student heroes right here at CHS.    

Recently in honor of their brave actions, seniors Nathaniel Schrump and Nathan Smith and junior Duncan Seguin were awarded certificates from Principal Joan Benz for their citizenship and valor.

“Young people are often not given positive recognition for their daily good deeds,” Benz said.  “Our CHS heroes are role models for every one of their peers.  Each hero epitomizes the spirit of community respect that we would like all students to exhibit.” 

During a car accident in front of the school Sept. 2, Schrump and Smith aided an injured woman. According to a letter from Benz to Schrump and Smith, the boys helped the woman from her car, stabilized her on the ground and applied a tourniquet to her arm to control the bleeding.

“I was going out to lunch when it all happened,” Schrump said. “I was a couple of steps behind Nathan when the cars hit. I acted because I saw it happen and was pretty close to the accident, so I went to see if everyone was alright. The award was a nice gesture, but I was just glad the woman was safe.”

Smith feels similarly.

“I am not really sure what caused me to do it,” Smith said. “I guess I did it because no one else reacted, and if I was in the elderly woman’s spot, I would want someone to run over and help me too.”

Later in the week, Seguin saved the life of Mike Morgan, the center referee in a soccer game. According to Seguin, Morgan suffered from a heart attack during a game. 

Seguin was to referee three games on Sept. 3. It was just like any other Saturday for Seguin, an eighth grade U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) referee. He woke up and went to work to referee a national soccer tournament. The first two games went smoothly.

“It was the third game, 15 minutes into the first half and the ref was standing in the goalie box,” Seguin said. “The ball was not in play but the game was still going on.”

According to Seguin, he was staring at Morgan and trying to get his attention when Morgan collapsed. Seguin was the third person to reach him.

“Two spectators reached him before I did,” Seguin said. “We did not know what to do at first. Five seconds must have passed, but it felt like an eternity. We turned him over and I felt no pulse.”

Seguin administered CPR for 15 minutes until the ambulance arrived.  After the ambulance left, he refereed the rest of the game. 

“I did what I had to do and hoped for the best,” Seguin said.

According to a letter from Principal Joan Benz to Seguin, Benz describes Sequin’s actions as “quick-thinking and mature.” She was “very proud of [his] courageousness in helping in the face of an extreme crisis.”

Not having any formal training, Seguin simply acted on natural instinct. 

“Officially,  I am not CPR or first-aid certified,” Seguin said. “My dad is an ex-army medic, and so I learned what I know from him.”

According to Seguin, Morgan is alive and well and just underwent bypass surgery last week. 

Benz is very proud of all three boys and hopes that they will be congratulated for their bravery. 

“I am in awe of their ability to face a crisis and to courageously assist people without regard to themselves,” Benz said. “They are selfless young men. Each of them exhibited clear thinking followed by immediate life-saving actions. I am so proud of each of them.”