NOMINEES FOR Defensive Player of the Year
Raney Stanczak, San Antonio XFactor.
Raney is perhaps one of the best reactionary players in the entire professional division. He has a massive gun off the break and his constant adjustments from the backline combined with his elite ability to lock down the field has made him one of the best defensive players in world. For San Antonio, Raney is the piece that has made everything work; he has been critical to their success over the last few seasons because of his high-IQ and his ability to counterpunch from a defensive posture to close games. In 2021, that ability drove San Antonio into the Sunday club all four events, and two silver medals to close out the season.
Marcello Margott, San Diego Dynasty.
When looking at the defensive prowess of Marcello Margott, it is founded in a high-level understanding on how every position on the field is played. He is consistently put into some of the most difficult to play positions on the field by San Diego Dynasty, and he is able to utilize these spots in ways that no other player in the league is able to. His hyper-active gunfighting style helps to suffocate the opponents top player and his ability to isolate and eliminate elite players on the field is his greatest strength. Throughout the entire 2021 season, he was critical to San Diego's success, and put a stamp on the season with an MVP performance at their World Cup win.
Cody Mickowski, Los Angeles Infamous.
Cody Mickowski has been among the league most poised players over the last few years and 2021 was no different. The moment is just never too big for Cody and he always produces at a high level for Los Angeles. He checks off all the boxes you want to see in a top defensive player; great breakshooter, elite marker skills, and unwavering control of lanes. What makes Cody great however, is his ability to stay calm during the big moments; whether its an overtime 1v1, or closing a game during low body situations, Cody has been THE guy for Infamous. Cody and his team look incredibly dangerous going into 2022, and he will be a critical driver behind any success Infamous sees in 2022.
Tyler Harmon, Houston Heat.
Tyler Harmon has historically not been a defensively postured player. However, in the 2021 season he found his role changed after he joined Houston Heat prior to the Mid Atlantic Major. Todd Martinez utilized Tyler in a role based on his incredibly versatility and gunfighting dominance and he shined. Arguably the best gunfighter in the sport of professional paintball, Tyler was the glue that held Houston Heat together during a season that saw them win an event and finish in the top five at three out of four events. His ability to win in down body situations from the back line this season was unmatched and he will continue to be a force for Houston going forward.
Henry Sentz, Baltimore Revo.
Henry Sentz has been a pillar of defensive play for Baltimore Revo since they joined the pro ranks nearly a decade ago. In the 2021 season, Henry was a critical piece for Revo during a season that saw them make the Sunday club three out of four events. His gun-skills off the break are among the leagues best and his ability to reactively adjust and deploy Revo's attack from the backline is a significant piece of this programs success. With Revo finally looking healthy and some new additions for the 2022 season, Henry is poised to be one of the leagues best defensive players once again and they look ready to take over the NXL throne.