Who is the face of lacrosse? I posed this question a few weeks ago. Paul Rabil was the easy answer for 15 years. Rabil has moved from the field to the front office full-time. The game is in need of a face to connect with fans and younger generations. I came up with a list of the Top 5 names to consider:
- Blaze Riorden
- Lyle Thompson
- Trevor Baptiste
- Charlotte North
- Joey Spallina
2022 was a great year for Trevor. He won 70% of his faceoffs and wrapped up his third Paul Cantabene Face-Off Athlete of the Year award. He was an All-Star Team captain and was named MVP of the league.
Baptiste arrived on the scene as a freshman for the 2015 national champion, Denver Pioneers. Baptiste helped the Pioneers play the make-it-take-it brand of lacrosse that they were known for before the implementation of the shot clock.
Baptiste was elite at Denver. Taking a look at his stats makes you appreciate more just how good he was.
- 4x Tewaaraton Award Nominee
- Tewaaraton Award Finalist (2017, 2018)
- 4x USILA First Team All-America (first to do since Mikey Powell 2004)
- 4x First Team All-BIG EAST
- NCAA career record holder for faceoff wins at 1158
- NCAA career record holder for faceoff winning percentage at .714
- Went 63-2-4 in faceoff match-ups in his career
Trevor has continued to be a master of his craft in both the indoor and outdoor game. Baptiste is considered to be the best faceoff man in the game. This summer he will represent Team USA in the World Games in San Diego.
Baptiste was voted the No.3 lacrosse player by his peers in the PLL’s Top 50 Players Ranking. The list was voted on by current PLL players. The players voted in September to rank their Top 25 players in the league. The PLL then ranked the Top 50 players based on the rankings. Paul Carcaterra shared what makes Baptiste so special.
“A lot of time faceoff specialists don’t get the respect they deserve because they’re specialists. But Trevor Baptiste is a lacrosse player. Yes, he can dominate at the stripe, but watch what he does when the ball’s in his stick – he always starts offense for the Atlas and he can score when defenses don’t pick him up and respect him as a shooter…with Trevor Baptiste, don’t think of him as a specialist. Look at him as a lacrosse player.”
– Paul Carcaterra
Baptiste also can help to change the face of lacrosse. Representation and diversity matter. Something that the PLL has taken very seriously. The PLL has taken this up very seriously and also something that Trevor shared in a PLL Roundtable back in the summer in Albany.
“Our environment is composed of individuals. We need more people that look like us. We need more diversity in the game. We need more exposure. We need people to see those different types of situations.” Trevor can be that face to help expand and grow the game.