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Vegas Vipers Pita Taumoepenu Named 2023 XFL Defensive Player of the Year

Vegas Vipers linebacker honored by XFL

Arlington, TX – May 4, 2023 – Vegas Vipers linebacker Pita Taumoepenu has been named the 2023 XFL Defensive Player of the Year. All of the 2023 XFL awards were voted on by each team’s head coach and/or Director of Player Personnel.

Taumoepenu led the XFL in forced fumbles with four. He was also No. 2 in the XFL in sacks, racking up 7.5, including three sacks in a game vs. the Orlando Guardians in a 35-32 Vegas victory. Taumoepenu was tied for No. 6 in the XFL in tackles for loss with eight, while also tallying 26 total tackles throughout the regular season.

In addition to Taumoepenu’s award, the XFL previously announced DC Defenders head coach Reggie Barlow as the 2023 XFL Coach of the Year and St. Louis Battlehawks wide receiver Darrius Shepherd as the 2023 XFL Special Teams Player of the Year. The 2023 XFL Offensive Player of the Year will be announced Friday. The 2023 All-XFL teams will be announced Monday, May 8.

The 2023 XFL Championship Game between the Arlington Renegades and DC Defenders will be played 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 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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