The late Scott Schricker was honored with the Community Champion Award. The award is given to an individual sports fan, volunteer or advocate that has made a public and longstanding commitment to sports in the Richmond community and is committed to bettering the region through sports.
He was the backbone of Sports Backers. Honoring the life of Scott Schricker.
Angie Miles has been a television journalist for the past three decades. However, she still remembers one of her very first stories at her first job in Charlottesville, mostly because of the photographer she worked with that day.
"Like, he did everything. He approached his shooting work with excellence, with perfectionism. He wanted to get it right and make it look good," Miles said.
A story about firefighter training was the beginning of a 30-year friendship with Scott Schricker. Miles had an early insight into how Schricker's mind worked and what made him so good at nearly everything he did.
"He had his protocol for how things should work, whether it made sense to anyone else or not, that's the way it needed to be done," Miles said.
Shricker briefly worked as the sports anchor at NBC 29 in Charlottesville before moving to Richmond for an internship with the Richmond Braves. It was in Richmond when he was approached by Jon Lugbill, the executive of the brand-new Richmond Sports Backers who had just two employees at the time.
Schricker became the third.
"I think the idea that we were going to work and try and attract major events here and host major events ourselves, that was exciting to him," Lugbill said.
Schricker's official title with Sports Backers was almost an afterthought. He wore many hats as the organization grew into the well-oiled machine people know it to be today. His primary job was logistics, making sure every last detail was perfect for every event.
"He's always been so meticulous and such a planner. Sometimes, it drove me nuts. But now I just see what a blessing it was that he did all that and I miss it," Scott's wife Karen Schricker said. "He would bring home the running clock before every race and charge it in the middle of my family room and make sure it was working and tinkered with it and got it fixed if it wasn't working."
Schricker wasn't just a bystander for events either. He was an avid runner, having completed several marathons. He knew and appreciated what every level of athlete went through to accomplish their individual goals and was behind each and every one of them.
"If you're a first-time runner or if you're a walker, he's going to be out there cheering for you just the same. It's who he was. He was very supportive of active living and just getting out and doing what you need to do," Karen Schricker said. "If he got sick, it was for a couple hours and then he was better. It kind of annoyed me because when I got sick, I was down for the count. So yes, it was just a huge shock for us."
In January 2022, Scott Schricker was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Doctors estimated he had been living with it for three to five years prior to his diagnosis.
No one had a clue.
"Two years ago, Scott turned 53 and wanted to run 53 kilometers in the neighborhood. So he went out there and he did it. He was running with cancer in his body at that time and we didn't know it," Karen said.
"His energy was still very upbeat. His optimism was strong, strong like Scott. He followed his lead in staying as strong as we could through the ordeal, but I honestly could not accept the idea that he would not stay with us," Miles said.
Scott Schricker passed away in October 2022, just ten months after his diagnosis.
The grace and dignity with which he handled his illness paralleled his selfless contributions to so many of the things Richmond athletes take for granted today all because of the work he did behind the scenes.
"He was the right individual at the right time for our community and for Sports Backers," Lugbill said.
"He was just a stellar human being. He was an outstanding father, an outstanding husband, and an outstanding person. He definitely made an impact that will be felt for a really long time," Miles said.
The Sports Backers created a scholarship in Scott Schricker's name to honor someone who embodies the spirit and enthusiasm Schricker had for his job and for the Richmond community. You can learn more about it on their website.