DENVER (CBS4) - University of Denver freshman lacrosse faceoff man Trevor "The Beast" Batiste leads the country in faceoff percentage, winning more than 71 percent of his draws.
No matter who the opponent throws out there, The Beast just chews them up and spits them out. CBS4's Vic Lombardi had never attempted a lacrosse faceoff, so he had to see for himself.
The faceoff almost resembles a wrestling match. The players wrestle over a little white ball, and few do it better than Baptiste. He's 5-foot-10, 215 pounds of fast-twitch muscle. He grew-up in New Jersey playing football before his father convinced him to try lacrosse.
"My dad was a big football player, and when I started getting into lacrosse he just loved the sport, and he said, 'You know, you should start focusing on lacrosse,' " Baptiste said. "He ended up playing college and got recruited to play for Cal State. He said there's just bumps and bruises today that he still has. He said lacrosse is great physical sport but not as physically tolling."
Baptiste is only 18 years old, and it's pretty rare for a freshman to lay claim to the faceoff job, especially at a program like DU.
Head coach Bill Tierney has seen plenty of faceoff specialists in his time, and is happy to have one of the best on his team.
"There's been so many … those guys … that kid last year, (David) Lawson from Duke; virtually won them two national championships … because it was 'make it, take it,' " Tierney said. "There's been a lot of them out there, a lot of great ones, and in the years that somebody has them you see that team get better. Faceoff guys and goalies can change the program."
Baptiste is at center field at least 30 minutes before each practice, carefully perfecting his craft. He showed Lombardi the tricks of his trade and Lombardi attempted a faceoff with him -- and didn't even come close to winning.
Lombardi asked Baptiste if he has a weakness.
"I'd never say it," he responded.
Baptiste and the Pioneers are back at it this Saturday when they visit St. John's.
LINK: DU Lacrosse
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