Count Maine South coach Dave Inserra among those approving of the IHSA's decision to award the state football title games to Northern Illinois University in odd-numbered years beginning in 2013.
"I'm excited about Northern Illinois," said Inserra, who has led the Hawks to six title-game appearances in Champaign since 2004, winning three. "It's definitely the best spot available besides Champaign with turf, location, facilities. They've made some nice upgrades."
The IHSA had to decide on an alternate location for the eight football title games in odd-numbered years because of a change in the Big Ten schedule. Illinois, home to the IHSA football finals since 1999, now will play host to Big Ten home games every other year on Thanksgiving weekend.
Inserra hopes the relative proximity of DeKalb to the Chicago area will help boost attendance for the state finals.
"I think the location, an hour or so from the Chicago area, will make the crowds even bigger," he said. "We plan to make it our home."