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Battlehawks Darrius Shepherd Named 2023 XFL Special Teams Player of the Year

St. Louis Battlehawks wide receiver/kick returner led league in kick return yards

Arlington, TX – May 3, 2023 – St. Louis Battlehawks wide receiver/kick returner Darrius Shepherd has been named the 2023 XFL Special Teams Player of the Year. All of the 2023 XFL awards were voted on by teams’ respective head coach and/or Director of Player Personnel.

Shepherd racked up 907 yards in kick returns to lead the XFL during the 2023 regular season. He ranked No. 2 in the league in kick return average (min. 10 returns) with a 24.8-yard average. Shepherd recorded three games with more than 132 kick return yards, including an XFL-best 190 in Week 3 vs. the D.C. Defenders. Shepherd’s 80-yard return to open the second half against D.C. was the second-longest kick return of the season.

In addition to his prowess on kick returns, Shepherd was No. 4 in the XFL in receptions (48), tied for No. 2 in receiving touchdowns (6) and No. 6 in receiving yards (519).

In addition to Shepherd’s award, the XFL previously announced D.C. Defenders head coach Reggie Barlow as the 2023 XFL Coach of the Year.

The 2023 XFL Defensive Player of the Year will be announced Thursday. The 2023 XFL Offensive Player of the Year will be announced Friday. The 2023 All-XFL teams will be unveiled Monday, May 8.

The 2023 XFL Championship Game will be played between the D.C. Defenders and Arlington Renegades at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT Saturday, May 13 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and will air nationally on ABC.

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The XFL’s ownership group, led by Dany Garcia, Dwayne Johnson, and Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital Partners, is building a fan-first, fast-paced global professional football league with innovative rules and enhanced 360 game experience. The XFL will bring entertainment to world class football, with the goal of advancing the game of football and expanding player opportunities when it launches in February 2023. 

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Mark Perry, a devoted sports journalist and founder of XFL News Hub, has been a key figure in XFL coverage since its 2018 revival. Launching XFL News Hub soon after the league's return announcement, Mark has established the platform as a primary source for comprehensive XFL updates. Renowned for his in-depth knowledge and commitment to sports journalism, Mark actively engages the XFL community, welcoming interactions at

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