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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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Mark Perry, a passionate sports journalist and the founder and editor of XFL News Hub, has been at the forefront of covering the XFL since its revival in 2018. Within days of the XFL's announced return, Mark initiated XFL News Hub to keep the fans abreast of every detail, game, and development of the league. Mark's extensive knowledge of the sport, combined with his unwavering dedication to providing comprehensive and accurate reporting, has made XFL News Hub the go-to platform for all things related to the XFL. His work over the years has brought him recognition in the world of sports journalism, solidifying his place as a leading voice in XFL coverage. Beyond just reporting, Mark believes in fostering a community around the XFL, engaging fans through his innovative content and discussions. If you have any inquiries, comments, or insights you'd like to share, Mark welcomes you to contact him directly at

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