Trevor Hoff: Ministry in the midst of an unpredictable baseball journey

By Marissa Soto

Senior Trevor Hoff’s baseball career started as a young toddler in tee ball, a self-proclaimed flower-picking outfielder at the time. As Hoff got older, he began to grow his love for the game and developed new skills at other positions. As a little leaguer, Hoff honed in on the outfield, first base and pitcher. It was his junior year of high school when he became a pitcher only (PO) and set in motion his pitching journey. 

As a Santa Clarita native, Hoff attended William S. Hart High School in Newhall, California. Not only would Hoff be part of the 2017 team that placed third in their league, but he would also be part of the 2018 team that were the Foothill League Champions his senior year, both teams being able to compete in the CIF Southern Section Division I Playoffs. 

It was around the same time that Hoff began attending church services regularly in an attempt to regain the attention of a former girlfriend. Though his romantic feelings fizzled with time, Hoff kept attending church services and getting involved in the church, coming to salvation. This would be the start of his passion for ministry. From greeting, to stacking chairs to eventually becoming a junior high leader, Hoff’s passion for Christ’s church began as a young adult. 

After high school, Hoff attended Glendale Community College (GCC) where he would play for two years, trading in his Hart Indian pride to become a Gaucho. As a GCC pitcher, Hoff and his team would be not only their conference, regional but also super regional champions in 2019, his freshman year. However due to COVID-19 in 2020, Hoff’s sophomore season in Glendale got cut short, Hoff not opting to return for another year of eligibility. As a junior, Hoff decided to transfer to Cal State Fullerton where he would spend his entire school year online, inactive from collegiate baseball altogether. 

“It was a weird and frustrating time because I was like, ‘Is baseball done now?’ I had no idea,” Hoff said. 

In the late summer of 2021, Hoff was playing catch with a friend at Newhall Park next to his alma mater, Hart High School, when he was approached by a dad. Connected with The Master’s University (TMU), the man, Matt Price, encouraged him to transfer to TMU just weeks before the semester began. Originally planning on continuing at Fullerton that fall for another semester fully online, Hoff took the chance. He threw a bullpen for TMU’s head baseball coach, Monte Brooks, who loved the outing and invited Hoff to become a Mustang for the 2021-22 school year. 

“Honestly it just came down to the Lord, because why else would I get approached by Matt and asked if I wanted to transfer?” Hoff said. 

As a Mustang, Hoff continues to be a PO and adds to his team in whatever way he can, whether it be tracking pitches, retrieving foul balls or doing stats on an iPad.

 “If you were to define ‘Team Guy,’ then it would be Trevor. He is an incredibly hard worker whether it be on the field or off,” said fellow TMU pitcher and teammate Mason Madalinski. 

Not only is Hoff a player that seeks to serve through his responsibilities to pitchers’ jobs during games, he is a key contributor to the team spiritually. 

“Trevor is an incredible and unselfish teammate. He’s a spiritual motivator, has inspiration and is enthusiastic. He’s one of our leaders in our team Bible study,” said coach Brooks. 

When it comes to the game, Hoff got his first appearance in 31 games in late March of this season against Providence Christian College. And though Hoff only pitched .2 of an inning, he could be seen grinning ear to ear the next day, grateful for the opportunity to contribute to his team. 

“Though baseball playing-wise hasn’t gone the way I would have dreamed or hoped for in my mind, being able to see the fruit of the trials of this season has been so sweet, building my character,” Hoff said. 

Hoff was also the very first recipient of the GSAC Servant Leadership monthly award in December of 2021 for his service to the community through his local church and in guest speaking to local high schools’ Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) meetings. 

However his ministry is not limited to TMU, as he serves at Crossroads Community Church where he and his wife, Jillian, attend. As a small group leader for 11th-grade boys, Hoff ministers to his group on Wednesday nights in Elevate Student Ministries and beyond, seeking to disciple them. Through his love for baseball, he has been able to connect and mentor his small group of boys through the Word as well as pitching and baseball. Hoff regularly holds Bible studies and meets with his group to come alongside them as an older brother in the faith.

Besides serving on Wednesday nights in the high school ministry, Hoff interns under Crossroads Youth Pastor Josh Goertzen, with the hopes of going into full time ministry one day. 

“I really think the Lord can use him immensely in the future because he’s so teachable. A lot of young guys don’t wanna be teachable. Trevor is like a sponge and soaks everything up because he really wants to grow and honor the Lord,” Goertzen said. 

As part of the Elevate Internship, the two focus and study on character, competency and conviction. Sanctification, godliness, theology, teaching, leading, discipleship and biblical counseling all describe the process of the three C’s. Goertzen and Hoff meet once a week to discuss and digest books and outside reading in order to grow. As part of the internship, during the 2022-23 school year, Hoff has preached on several occasions for the junior high school ministry on Tuesday nights, continuing a series in the book of Genesis. 

“Sometimes I would create my own sermons and just preach to myself, writing sermons in my notes app on my phone. But all of this [preaching] has been from opportunities men have entrusted me with,” Hoff said. 

Hoff plans on graduating in May from TMU with a degree in business, but will continue his call to full time ministry. As a future student, Hoff will attend The Master’s Seminary to learn and be equipped for his pastoral endeavors. 

“I have noticed here [in California] that a lot of people are busy with things that don’t have eternal value. But Trevor has made himself busy with things of eternal value. And that’s it, that’s all you need right there,” Goertzen said.

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