Newman community coping with loss of student athlete Reece Wright-Conklin

Sep 10, 2015

Newman students, staff, faculty and friends alike are still reeling from the loss of senior student-athlete Reece Wright-Conklin, who passed away in a motorcycle accident early Thursday morning, Sept. 3.

According to police, Wright-Conklin was headed to his part-time job at PetSmart near Towne West when the accident happened.

Sgt. Steve Patton of the Wichita Police Department said that the accident is currently under investigation and that the cause of death is still pending.

Members of the Newman community are searching for ways to cope with this tragic situation. Head Coach of the Newman Wrestling Team and Wright-Conklin’s coach of four years Ryan Smith said that he’s trying to remember Reece for the athlete and individual he was.

“He was a competitor. He only knew one thing and that was to win,” Smith said. “And that’s the way he was in life. He did everything to the fullest. There was no half in with that kid. He was all in.”

Close friends and teammates agree with Smith on this statement, saying that Wright-Conklin was the type of person who was always going to give it his all.

“He was always willing to put out his best effort. Everyone needs to keep doing the best they can to honor his legacy,” said senior and longtime friend Kelsey Kilburn.

The visitation for Wright-Conklin will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12 in Lawrence, Kan., at 2004 E 23rd St.

There will also be a celebration of life from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13 in the Lawrence High School west gym.

There are t-shirts being made in memory of Wright-Conklin to help raise funds for the family. Orders need to be placed no later than Friday, Sept. 18. There is also a GoFundMe account set up at for anyone interested in making a donation. The last day for donations on the site will be Thursday, Sept. 10.