BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–Competitive cheerleading is big around the Rockford region with our high school teams. It’s bigger than ever right now. Dozens of youngsters from 42 schools from this area and the Chicago Suburbs have been picked to represent our country next week in Florida.

They’ll compete in the International Cheer Union (ICU) World Championships. There are two teams, a youth coed team consisting of middle school and junior high age kids, and a junior coed team that consists of high school age kids.

Kids from 42 school districts were selected for the teams after going through tryouts. They include cheerleaders from Belvidere North, Belvidere and Harlem.

“There are so many athletes that tried out, and it’s really an honor to be on the mat,” said cheerleader Miles Taskey, an 11 year-old who attends Belvidere Central Middle School.

“We’re very prepared. We have been working a lot, said Antione Smith a cheerleader from Lombard. “We’ve been working very hard and very long hours, and I feel like we are ready to take the mat.”|

They will head to Florida and begin competing at the World Championships next Wednesday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.

Friday evening members of the two squads performed a tune-up showcase event at Belvidere North High School. To view some of that click on the media player.