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Cheers, tears fill tribute

by Jeff Vorva
staff reporter

It was a two-hour event in which family, friends and colleagues of the late Bruce Scheidegger had a chance to laugh and cry.

"I did both," said Samantha Adamczyk, one of Scheidegger's daughters. "This was beautiful. This was perfect."

More than 1,000 people crowded Sandburg High School's Eagle Gym Sunday to pay tribute to the late athletic director, who died at age 54 in a one-car accident Feb. 9 north of Mount Carroll.

Many athletic directors are behind- the-scenes administrators, but Scheidegger had an abundance of face time with the students and athletes and to hear Eagles Boys Cross Country Coach John O'Malley tell it: "He made everyone feel like a big deal. He made every sport feel like marquee events. He made everyone feel important."

O'Malley was one of several speakers at the memorial. He said that since Scheidegger was always willing to give an extra minute to everyone he knew, that the crowd should stand and cheer him for a minute, which was counted down on the Eagle scoreboard.

Scheidegger was hired in 2007, and under his watch the Eagles won six team state championships in five sports and scores of individual state titles. Representatives from Sandburg, District 230 and his former stops, Sterling and Dixon High Schools, shared their memories of Scheidegger.

Former Sterling principal Jerry Binder had the crowd laughing with his roast-like tribute.

"I'm hearing a lot of really nice things about Bruce I'm telling you