Passages: Ryder Wade, Concordia Water Polo Player, Dies in Motorcycle Accident

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Ryder Wade, a freshman on Concordia University’s men’s water polo team, died Jan. 15 in an auto accident near campus. Wade was 18 years old.

Wade was killed after leaving practice at the Woollett Aquatics Center. The motorcycle he was riding collided with a car in Irvine around 8:15 on Friday morning. The driver of the vehicle remained on the scene and cooperated with police, who are investigating the crash.


Photo Courtesy: Concordia University Athletics

Wade, a utility player, was a native of Orange, Calif. He graduated from El Modena High, where he was an all-North Hills League and All-CIF selection, and played for Flo Water Polo Club. He was majoring in behavior science with an emphasis in psychology. His older sister, Bailey, is a graduate student on the CUI track and field team.

“He was that lightning rod that everyone went to — he had that gift,” El Modena athletic director Ed Drzanek told the Orange County Register. “There was tremendous leadership in him. We will never know what the world lost.”

“On behalf of the University, we extend our deepest sympathy to Ryder’s parents, family, and his sister Bailey who is also a student here at Concordia University Irvine,” university president Michael Thomas wrote in a letter announcing Wade’s passing. “… I have reached out personally to Ryder’s family to pass along condolences of the CUI community. We’ve offered support to the family as they grieve the loss of Ryder. For now, we want to give the Wade family and Ryder’s friends, classmates, and teammates time to grieve. If there’s any kind of memorial planned later to honor Ryder’s memory, we will let you know. Thank you, Concordia family, for your prayers.”