Next Wednesday, 96 students will kick off a soccer season that shouldn't exist. Since 2010, the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District and 6 Stones have teamed up to provide intramural soccer for boys at three local junior high schools. There is no University Interscholastic League program for them to play the sport. But for many of these young men, soccer is their only love.

I had the privilege of taking over this program last year, and immediately set out to build something more than a soccer league for these students. I grew up in this area, and I vividly remember not being able to play soccer for my school during the years in which I was most likely to make a team. Soccer was important to me. But not nearly as important as it is to the boys who play in our intramural league.

So when I took over last season, my first goal was to create an exciting environment for them. One that felt professional. One that inspired them to do better, on and off the field. So we gave the league a name: Liga HEB. Then, we gave the teams identities: Atlético Central, Real Euless, and Hurst City FC. Spartans. Stallions. Raiders United. Now, we're building a professional atmosphere.

All Stars and Champions

When we decided to purchase a trophy for last year's championship game, we knew that we wanted to get something special. We ended up with a perennial award that will change hands every year, thanks to Trophies & More. There was some debate as to what the trophy should be called, but we eventually settled on a name that encapsulates our goal in Liga HEB: The Champions Cup.

We are making winners in this league. Not boys who win games, but men who win at life. This season will see an 11-week character curriculum installed to provide the same guidance to each student. You can snag a copy of that curriculum here..

With the help of our coaches, we are adding a new element this season. At their suggestion, we will be implementing an All-Star game next month. The top performers from each team will be selected and mixed onto two rosters of 15 players each. This will encourage students from rival schools to build healthy relationships with one another. But it's not the only great thing we're doing this season.

More Than A Schedule

At the end of the 2016 season, the coaching staff and I decided that the new team names warranted a new look for the teams themselves. I asked each group of students to design a custom shield for their club, and they delivered!

In 2017, all six teams will have their own crest, inspired by the schools they represent and created by the young men who will wear them. It only seemed right to include their work — which was touched up and made functional by former FC Dallas Creative Director Erik Davila — in official league materials this year.

The sample on the left is only a portion of the league schedule, which you can download and print by clicking here. But the really exciting thing about the shields these students designed is that soon, they'll be wearing them.

Inspiration You Can Wear

Thanks to the generous support of 6 local businesses, we will be able to update uniforms league-wide this season. Here's the breakdown of sponsorships, along with the projected design of each team's new kit:

Raiders United FC

Hurst Junior High's Raiders have played in red since the league began, so it only seemed right to continue the tradition this season. The club's kit is red from head to toe, and will be sponsored by the same company that is handling uniforms league-wide: The Soccer Corner.

About the Sponsor: The Soccer Corner is based in North Texas, with stores in Plano, Arlington, Southlake, and Lewisville. They provide almost any soccer equipment you could imagine, and helped us to outfit all of our players with quality shinguards and soccer balls last year.

Hurst City FC

Each school has two clubs, and the second team at Hurst Junior High happens to be last year's league champion. Hurst City will be the first name to grace the Champion's Cup, and will continue to wear white jerseys with red shorts in the 2017 campaign. Because if something works, you don't change it.

About the Sponsor: 89.7 Way FM is new to the metroplex, having moved into the area last year. While the radio station is national in scope, they are dedicated to authenticity and real relationships. That makes them a great fit for Liga HEB.

Atlético Central FC

Runners-up in the 2016 season, Atlético will take on one of the more aggressive redesigns this season. The Central Junior High club traditionally plays in white, but will be changing to a Royal Blue kit for 2017. Their new start is sponsored by a local company that is all about energy and renewal.

About the Sponsor: Ideal Impact, Inc provides energy solutions that help ministries and public schools redirect money from their operating cost into their greater mission. They currently serve clients in DFW, Austin, and Houston.

Spartans FC

Like their neighbors, Spartans FC are taking on a new look this year. The Central-based side traditionally plays in Navy, but will swap last year's single hue look for one of the league's more attractive and innovative color combinations.

About the Sponsor: Elite Fitness H.Q. is a locally-based, locally-owned athletic training service that believes in developing the entirety of an athlete. Their client base is diverse, and they strive to help each individual meet their own, specific fitness goals.

Stallions FC

After a difficult season last year, Stallions will be riding a wave of young talent into 2017. Euless Junior High will see a significant increase in returning players this year, with the majority of the top talent in horseshoes and solid black. The red accents are new this year, but the Stallions have always worn all black everything.

About the Sponsor: BB&T is a community bank with historical roots that reach all the way back to 1872. They provide services that range from personal banking to insurance to trust management. Their regional office provided this sponsorship.

Real Euless

Classics don't need to change. Real Euless, while historically unpredictable on the field, have played in white since their inception. Thanks to redesigns across the league, however, they're the only team playing in solid white uniforms this season.

About the Sponsor: Parra Car Care is a locally owned automotive repair and service company based in Euless, Texas. The current owner, Bob Parra, inherited the business from his father, who founded the company in 1975. Their brand is built on honesty and customer service.

That's the league in 2017! We can't wait for you to be a part of it. Find out how to get involved by visiting the volunteer page.



  1. Teuta ljuso on January 10, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    How can we get our Harwood junior high kids in this?

    • Steven Jones on January 10, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      Hi Teuta!

      We currently do not have teams at Harwood Junior High or Bedford Junior High because neither of those schools has been able to generate enough interest from their students to form a team. We would love to expand as soon as the administrators at those campuses tell us that they’d like to join the league. You are welcome to come out to the games and observe until then, and you can always ask your administrators if there’s any way you can facilitate a club at Harwood.

      Thanks for the note! I’m a former Blackhawk myself.

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