Lots of interesting things happen at Cal Anderson but Capitol Hill’s central park may have found a new symbol of its eccentric charm by means of a professional frisbee team—the city’s very first—called the Seattle Cascades.
“The Cascades are trying to do something more than just be a team,” Xtehn Titcomb tells CHS. “We have a fan base. We have a social media following. If we play our cards right, we can continue to grow and have what I think is a really big impact on sports culture beyond just ultimate frisbee.”
Founded four years ago, the team has around 20 players ranging from 17 to 34 years of age, according to Titcomb who serves as both team manager and a player. The Cascades play in the West Division of the American Ultimate Disc League alongside teams from San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego and Los Angeles. This Saturday, July 21st, the Cascades are up against a team of enthusiasts from Oregon where there is hope of eventually forming a new team in Portland. Both teams will play with mixed gender rosters. They’ll do battle here on Capitol Hill at 6:00pm on Cal Anderson Park’s Bobby Morris Playfield, just across the street from Capitol Hill Block Party, an annual music festival that will inundate the neighborhood through the weekend. While the Cascades play most of their home games at Memorial Stadium, the timing and location for this weekend’s Rainier Cup match, Titcomb said, was very intentional.
“It’s an opportunity that we realized last year to put ultimate frisbee right in front of a whole lot of people,” he said. “The sport has evolved. The objective is to make the game spectator friendly.”
Last year, the Cascades hosted their first mixed-gender game and this year the team has its first women’s roster. Titcomb explained that the team is trying to organize a women’s match against a team in San Francisco. Teams in Austin, Atlanta and Nashville are making similar efforts to make the sport more gender inclusive.
“It’s a step in the direction we’re trying to go. Our objective it to put women on the field and to drive towards a more equitable sports event environment,” Titcomb said. “Ultimate frisbee is a really accessible sport. Its inexpensive to play. Its gender inclusive. The noncontact aspect is also really good. It sort of levels the playing field.”
For the players, the Cascades offer an opportunity for competition at the highest level — and you never know. The Seattle Seawolves were just crowned the champions of Major League Rugby in their debut season while drawing sellout crowds.
Shane Worthington, a Seattle native, joined the Cascades last year as a defensive cutter. He currently lives in the International District but he grew up in the Central District, the North End, and Beacon Hill.
“It’s a good group of people. I have a lot of fun playing with them,” he said.
Worthington, who started playing frisbee when he was 11 years old, is a player, coach and lover of the sport. When he’s not competing for the Cascades, he’s usually at Seattle University for a pickup match, South Seattle playing “mini 3 vs 3” games, or at Mercer Middle School where he coached more than one hundred children on the school frisbee team. He said the sport has created a lot of community in the South End and Beacon Hill area.
“I’ve played on a lot of teams in my life. All the people that play are very kind and fun people. The community is so big, there’s a lot of different experiences you can get out of it,” Worthington said. “I like meeting new people through frisbee and enjoying their company.”
The Cascades battle Portland Saturday, July 21st starting at 6 PM on Bobby Morris field. Admission is free. You can learn more at seattlecascades.com.
CORRECTION: When originally published, this article identified the team playing against the Cascades Saturday as the “Portland Swifts.” We’re told the team playing Saturday represents a group of enthusiasts from the Portland area but is not officially associated with a league team.
$5/MONTH? SUBSCRIBE AND SUPPORT LOCAL NEWS: Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.