A perfect performance deserves a Player of the Week nomination. Denver senior Trevor Baptiste delivered just that, going 22-for-22 at the face-off X against Cleveland State.
It’s hardly a shocking tally from Baptiste. He’s one of the greatest face-off specialists in collegiate lacrosse history, currently on-pace to set the all-time record. Kevin Massa from Bryant had 1,117 over his career, and that record appears to be on its way out.
Baptiste could approach a face-off winning percentage of 77% this year.
From the start of his career, Trevor supplanted himself as a face-off expert. He dominated in Denver’s season-opening victory back in 2015 over the defending champion Duke Blue Devils. That week, the Big East Conference named him their offensive player of the week.
He quickly earned the nickname “The Beast” after that successful rookie season, also winning 2015 Midfielder of the Year Award in the Big East Conference.
The Denver Pioneers would go on to win the NCAA DI Tournament that season, with Baptiste winning 10 of 19 faceoffs against the Maryland Terrapins. It was the first championship in school history, and the first college lacrosse title west of the Appalachian Mountains. Baptiste has certainly played a role in popularizing college lacrosse in the western states.
His physique is imposing, standing at 5’10’ 215 lbs. He’s bordering on a linebacker or running back in terms of size, rather than a lacrosse midfielder. Nevertheless, Baptiste has utilized that size to his advantage throughout his career as a midfielder, outmuscling defenders and pushing the ball forward with ease.
As talented and effective as he is on the field, his greatest strength is his personality. Everyone in the sport is inspired by Trevor’s humility and kindness towards others.
While this year’s Denver team might lack the firepower of past squads, they’re still destined for a strong season with people like Baptiste leading the way.
Check out Inside Lacrosse for more on the sport’s brightest stars.