Trevor Baptiste’s team-first leadership
By Quinn Magner | Sep 2, 2021
“How can I help you?” Trevor Baptiste asks his wings on his way to the strip.
The Atlas LC faceoff athlete doesn’t bark orders to sprint here or box out there. Baptiste leads a collaborative faceoff unit.
It starts with his quick hands. Baptiste has won a league-high 64% of clamps -- and then he and his wings convert 83% of those clamp wins into possessions for Atlas’ family style offense.
Baptiste works hard in the gym, on the field, scours game film, is his biggest critic and is always looking to be the unselfish leader who looks to make his teammates better players who can capitalize on their strengths as well. His teammates believe he’s truly just gotten better and better. That said, his 25-for-30 faceoff performance against Chrome on July 30 as well as 19-for-25 faceoff win performance against Cannons on August 1 prove just how hot his streak is.
“I think the main thing to note about Trevor is his infectious positivity,” said teammate and fellow midfielder Danny Logan who also played at Denver with Baptiste. “He comes to every weekend, every practice, every single game with a massive smile on his face. Additionally, I’ve never met a more ‘team-first’ type of person. If Trevor technically loses a faceoff, but we somehow fight to get the ball back, he’s just happy that we got the ball to our offense even though it doesn’t show up on the stat sheet.”
Head Coach Ben Rubeor is in his first season with Atlas and has had the pleasure of stepping into his role with seasoned veterans like Baptiste:
“I think he is very good at helping the mood,” he said of his captain and do-it-all midfielder. “I’m not necessarily the most light-hearted guy. Trevor is very good at keeping things fresh and fun--even in kind of serious moments but not to the detriment of performance.”
When asked who teammate and LSM Craig Chick thought may have been Baptiste’s toughest opponent in 2021 so far, Chick said the following:
“No one! I could go back and look at stats and see, but it feels like, in every game, he’s just so dominant. Every guy does something different at the position, of course. What Trevor does is he’ll watch and he’ll analyze a ton of film, tweaks what he does with his game to meet his match-ups and more. He’s just on a whole other level. There are games that he’s definitely not satisfied with how he’s performed. Then, he goes out, goes 80 percent at the stripe that game and has a ton of ground balls. He’s just got that ‘killer mentality.’”
Baptiste is a scrapper who, according to his teammates, turns it on when he sets that first cleat down onto the field every day. He has been savvy all-around for Atlas in that he can pick up the groundball, use his 5’10, 225 lb. frame to lower his shoulder through opponents, run downhill and shoot when given the opportunity on game day. Baptiste has 4 goals and 2 assists on the season, and although his points don’t directly reflect high volume, he still does considerable damage to opposing defenses when jumpstarting the fastbreak from the faceoff stripe -- and subsequently celebrating with his signature mop.
“His work ethic is unbelievable,” Logan exclaimed. “We will travel all week long and be running on little sleep, and Trevor will want to get up Monday morning for a 6 AM workout. That’s something that makes him great.”
This weekend, Baptise and his fellow captains look to propel their club into the PLL Championship if they can come away with a semi-final win over #6 Chaos in Philadelphia on Sunday. #9 has and always will come to play, and on September 5, he’ll be laced up and ready to barrel through anybody in a red and black jersey.
“A lot of what he says on and off the field are things like ‘How can I help you?’ He’s been amazing,” Chick exclaimed in regards to being asked how Baptiste has been as a leader for the younger players on the team. “He can really flip that switch. You know, Trevor’s not telling any of the other wings things like ‘Just box that guy out for me!’ He’s put in the work this off-season, and I think he’s just on a tear right now.”