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District of Champions: Defenders who've won it all

Washington, D.C., is a District of Champions.

After nearly two decades of championship futility, the nation’s capital is back atop the sports world, thanks to the Washington Nationals' victory over the Houston Astros in the 2019 World Series.

But just a week before the Nationals finished the fight, the Washington Mystics won their first ever WNBA championship, defeating the Connecticut Sun in a best-of-five WNBA Finals.

Those two championships come just a year after the Washington Capitals broke the curse, finally advancing past the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs before eventually defeating the Vegas Golden Knights to secure the franchise’s first ever Cup -- and the city’s first “Big Four” sports championship since 1992.

The DC Defenders hope to follow the trend set by the Nationals, Mystics and Capitals. They'll get a chance to do so starting Feb. 8 at Audi Field, when they host the Seattle Dragons in the very first game of the 2020 XFL season.

While new to the area, several Defenders players are not new to championship success.

  • RB Khalid Abdullah: James Madison, FCS National Champion, 2016
  • WR Terrence Alls: James Madison, FCS National Champion in 2016
  • CB Reggie Cole: Mary Hardin-Baylor, DIII National Champion in 2016 and 2018
  • WR Rashard Davis: James Madison, FCS National Champion in 2016; and Philadelphia Eagles, Super Bowl LII champion in 2017
  • DE Chase Farris: Ohio State, CFP National Champion in 2015; and New England Patriots Super Bowl LI champion in 2016
  • CB Doran Grant: Ohio State, CFP National Champion in 2015
  • QB Cardale Jones: Ohio State, CFP National Champion in 2015
  • WR Richard Mullaney: Alabama, CFP National Champion in 2016
  • RB Donnel Pumphrey: Philadelphia Eagles, Super Bowl LII champion in 2017
  • DT Elijah Qualls: Philadelphia Eagles, Super Bowl LII champion in 2017
  • DT Tracy Sprinkle: Ohio State, CFP National Champion in 2015
  • CB Bradley Sylve: Alabama, BCS National Champion in 2013; and CFP National Champion in 2016
  • LB Jameer Thurman: Calgary Stampeders, CFL Grey Cup Champion in 2018
  • LB James Vaughters: Calgary Stampeders, CFL Grey Cup Champion in 2018