Remembering Ryder: The Rowdiest Rooter


 On January 15th, 2021, 2020 El Modena Alumni Garett “Ryder” Wade was tragically killed while riding his motorcycle in an auto collision, bound for home from a Concordia water polo practice at the Woollett Aquatics Center. Wade is survived by his mother Martha, father Gary, and sister, Bailey.

 Wade played for the ElMo polo team all four years of high school, remaining a blistering, explosive, and dominant player in the water. He carried so much value on the team, in fact, that entire plays were set up simply to: get the ball to Ryder. A three year varsity polo veteran, three year all-league ElMo player, and recipient of CIF honors, there lies not a shred of doubt that Wade’s polo career was bound for greatness. Wade had made the next steps and was playing for the Concordia Eagles in Irvine as a utility player before his career was tragically cut short. 

   Garett “Ryder” Wade was as much an individual, and as uniquely himself as anyone could aspire to be. He wore what he wanted, when he wanted, and without a second though for the opinions for others. Despite this fervent individuality, Wade was both a leader and friend to all. He was never discriminatory in his interactions with others, not simply accepting others for who they were, but celebrating them. He believed passionately in working with the special needs, and had befriended each and every student at ElMo in the program, even surprising them one day with a visit from his two pet ducks. Heavily involved with the school, and especially its spirit, Wade was actively involved in ASB and led the Rowdy Rooters to cheering victories at countless football games. Enveloped with passion, pride, and dedication to his school, Wade stood as a model example for his peers. Ryder carried a magnetic personality, drawing all to him, and introducing everybody to a small slice of his curiosity, wonder, and fearlessness.

   Ryder loved the water, anywhere it was, and anything he could do both with, or in it. He could be found at Trestles, stained in salt, wetsuit caked with sand against his body. You could find him fishing from his kayak alongside his father Gary in the Newport Harbor, or fishing rod in hand at any pond which held bass. He could be found in backyard pools, shooting shot, after shot, after shot, refusing to settle for anything less than perfection. 

   There was an energy that Ryder brought to the world that existed nowhere else but with him, a passionate fire which cannot be lit by anybody else, and which leaves a scarring void in the community. We miss you Ryder and will forever be humbled and inspired by your example.

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