Teen honored after sacrificing himself to save classmate from dr - KMOV.com

Teen honored after sacrificing himself to save classmate from drowning

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Hundreds of people gathered at St. Pius X Friday, the Festus high school where 18-year-old Tom Surdyke graduated in 2015.

It took several minutes for everyone in attendance to take their places on the football field.

Jesse Studyvin, a close friend and former teammate, was impressed with the turnout.

"I was crushed to hear that my best friend was dead, but I knew that he was in a better place and he's watching over us," Studyvin said.

Surdyke died Tuesday after trying to save a classmate from the waters off the coast of Long Island last Friday.

Authorities said he was swept away by a rip current.

He had just finished his first year at West Point.

Surdyke will be buried on what would’ve been his 19th birthday, July 4th.

A memorial service will be held at West Point with full military honors.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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