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VIEWS: Welcome, football fans

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 9:23 a.m. CDT
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Tom Matya

DeKalb County, are you ready for some football?

After more than a year of planning and preparation, the IHSA football state championships will be played Friday and Saturday at Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium in DeKalb. On behalf of the IHSA Destination DeKalb host committee, we wish to congratulate and extend our welcome to all 16 schools and to the great high school football fans from across the state who will be attending the eight championship games.

This state championship weekend is the culmination of a long journey for these football teams and schools.  From the offseason workouts, to the arduous practices under the hot, late-summer sun, to the rigors of playing 13 games to reach this elite stage, each team and the communities they represent should be proud of all that they have accomplished this season.

The host committee also wishes to thank the DeKalb County residents for their tremendous support of this event.   

To date, $231,800 in sponsorships and donations have been raised to cover operating costs of hosting the state championships. In addition, hundreds of volunteers have stepped forward to assist with the preparation and execution of the event. To our sponsors and donors, and to all of our community ambassadors and volunteers, a huge “thank you” for your generous contributions of time, talent and treasure to help ensure the success of the IHSA football state championships.

We also would like to acknowledge the people behind the scenes who have worked so very hard to make this event happen. These individuals include those who served on the initial bid steering committee. We also wish to recognize the efforts of former DeKalb High School and current Hinsdale Central High School Director of Athletics Dan Jones, who helped secure the signatures of 114 high school athletics administrators in support of the football state championships being played at Huskie Stadium.  

Of course, kudos to the members of our IHSA Destination DeKalb host committee for the many hundreds of hours they have devoted to the planning and preparation for this wonderful event. The journey truly has been a team effort.

This weekend marks the first time Huskie Stadium will host the IHSA football state championships, and we look forward to welcoming the thousands of high school football fans from across the state who will be visiting DeKalb County. It is a tremendous honor to host in our community one of the premier sporting events in Illinois.

As residents of DeKalb County, we extend our customary hospitality to all who will be visiting our “communiversity” this weekend.  We pledge to do all we can to make IHSA Destination DeKalb a memorable event this year and for years to come.

See you at the games!

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