New women’s football team embraces challenges

Seattle Spartans play final regular game of season Saturday, June 8, at Goddard Stadium
By Kate Agbayani | Jun 05, 2019
Courtesy of: Seattle Spartans/Marteam Photography Seattle Spartans’ Jennifer Reynolds (55) intercepts the ball in front of Oregon Hawks’ Breana Griggs (1) during a Women’s Football Alliance game Saturday, June 1, at Goddard Stadium.

The Seattle Spartans are ready to conquer any challenge that comes in front of them.

Having only been around for a year, the Spartans are part of the Women’s Football Alliance, one of the largest women’s tackle football leagues in the world.

Ranging in ages from 18 to 50 and older, the team is full of dedicated and passionate individuals who want to share their love of the sport. The team plays by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) rules.

The team was formerly known as the Everett Reign. In 2018, the team was sold to Nicole Pelham, one of the current captains. She is also a linebacker and running back for the team.

“There’s something really magical about playing football,” Pelham said. “Sports teach a lot of women to be cooperative while also believing in yourself, and still encouraging others.”

The team started its season in January and have been practicing three times a week since.

Team members must pay monthly fees to stay on the team. However, Pelham hopes the fees will be lowered or will become completely free within the next few years.

When naming the team, Pelham went through a few names but decided on Seattle Spartans in the end. One of the reasons for naming the team Seattle Spartans was because they wanted to incorporate a bigger area.

The other reason was because Pelham wanted the team to be like Spartans on the field, standing against all odds.

“Spartans is the type of football team I want,” Pelham said. “They can fight and win against all odds.”

Jennifer Reynolds, a linebacker and key offensive player on the team, first joined the team when it was still the Everett Reign.

Reynolds, along with Michele Walsh, the offensive coordinator, are thankful to have the opportunity to play and be in women’s football.

“The biggest misconception is that we want to compete with men but that’s not it,” Reynolds said. “We want to enjoy and grow the sport as much as they do.”

The team wants to gain respect just like any other football team regardless of their gender, Walsh said.

Besides playing football, the team is very involved with the community. The team does community outreach events every month, and more during the off-season.

They did Adopt-a-Road in Everett near Goddard Stadium, and continually try and keep the road clean. Some other events they’ve participated in include “Day of Giving,” giving locally to those in need, and a food drive they held at Arena Sports in Mill Creek.

Pelham has a lot of great things planned for the Seattle Spartans. She hopes to keep building sponsors for the team, and eventually find sponsors for individual members of the team.

There are a few ways to join the Seattle Spartans. One way is to sign up online through their website, Wfa-spartans.com, or by showing up to their practice. If after the practice there is still full interest to join the team, players are given paperwork to fill out. The first practice is always on the house.

The Seattle Spartans will have their final regular game of the season at 6 p.m., June 8 at Goddard Stadium against the Tacoma Trauma. Gates open 5 p.m. The cost is $12 for pre-sale tickets, $15 at the door, and $10 for military and seniors. Children 5-years-old and under are free. Tickets can be bought online by visiting wfa-spartans.com/tickets/

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