6 Stones and HEB ISD have partnered to provide local students with access to soccer for almost a decade now. What started with six hastily assembled teams has grown into a league that will include nearly 150 students in 2020. This year, for the first time, Liga HEB will feature eight teams representing all five Junior High schools in the district. What's more, the addition of Harwood Junior High opens the door for an exciting new setup that puts every school in contention for the Champions Cup.
Blackhawk Soccer Club Takes Flight
Thanks to a generous grant from the FC Dallas Foundation and the continuous support of Zeb's Foundation, male students at Harwood Junior High will finally have a team of their own. League veteran Phillip Baumann and HJH counselor Stacy Force will lead the Blackhawks in their inaugural season. They'll start the year as a Dark Horse contender, but there's a clear path to the playoffs if they can find their feet early.
Two Tables, Four Contenders, One Champion
The addition of an eighth team created a unique opportunity in the 2020 schedule. This year, teams will be divided into two divisions based on their skill and tenure in the league. The three founding schools will each be represented by their most talented players in Tier I, with Bedford United joining the mix at the top of the table after a strong showing in 2019. Every club will play the others twice; “home” and “away.” Three of those teams will qualify for the Champions Cup Playoff in March. The bottom team, however, may face relegation in 2021.
League newcomers Blackhawk SC will compete against developing talent from Hurst, Euless, and Central. Just as in Tier I, every team will play a home-and-home series against the rest of the division. The first-place finishers in the second division will get a shot at the title. But reaching the championship game will require them to topple the second-place team from Tier One.
The Stars at Night are Big and Bright…
After several successful years of intraleague All-Star scheduling, Liga HEB is welcoming a new challenge. Come March 18, the top players in HEB ISD's intramural league will take on All-Stars from another program on the other side of the metroplex: Denton G.O.A.L. The Denton ISD program provides students with the same access to soccer as Liga HEB, with an equally strong record. The historic match will take place at Pennington Field in 2020, with an option to return to Denton in 2021.
4 Schools to Debut New Kits
The recent exponential growth of Liga HEB has only been possible because of the dedicated support of local sponsors. Old favorites The Soccer Corner, Parra Car Care, Insurance for Texans, and BoomerJack's are back for more this season. They'll be joined by new sponsors at Euless (Rita's Italian Ice) and Hurst (Kelly-Moore Paints), with former league sponsor Zeb's Foundation making the move to the Black and Orange. Bedford United are nearing completion of a new sponsorship deal, but final arrangements haven't yet been made.