As the old saying goes, offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships. Our five nominations for the 2010 Aiken Standard Defensive Player of the Year provide the perfect proof. Four of our five candidates led their teams to region championships and into the playoffs. A mix of youth and experience, each player made a significant impact on the defensive side, at times leading to offense on the other end. Marcus Bates (Williston-Elko) - The reigning Aiken Standard Defensive Player of the Year finished the season with more than 100 tackles and 26 tackles for loss from his linebacker spot. He had two sacks and an interception, helping to lead the Blue Devils back to the Class A, Division II championship game. Octavious Brown (Strom Thurmond) - The Rebel nose guard didn't put up the numbers that some of the other defensive stars in the area produced - mainly because of the position he played and the constant double teams that came his way - but he certainly had a major impact on the field. He finished the year with three sacks, and the consistent attention he received opened up gaps for linebackers like Nick Clark to make the stops. Jaylon Myers (North Augusta) - The Yellow Jacket defensive back led all area players with seven interceptions and a fumble recovery. He also had 64 total tackles, as well as being a key play-maker on the offensive side. By the end of the season, nobody was testing Myers' abilities in the North Augusta secondary. Tray Roberts (Aiken) - An All-Region 5-AAAA selection, Roberts was one of the hardest-hitting defensive backs in the area. He ended the year with 58 tackles and three interceptions. Only a sophomore, Roberts has already earned the respect of coaches throughout the CSRA. Kendall Rogers (Silver Bluff) - Rogers led the Bulldogs with five interceptions, returning those picks for 102 yards. He also recovered a pair of fumbles to go along with 71 tackles. Rogers rarely left the field, also lining up at wide receiver, as well as a punt and kick returner. Which player do you think had the best season? Let us know by e-mailing sports@aikenstandard.com.