Fierce cheerleaders live up to their name after fire

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FRANKLIN — A central Indiana team of cheerleaders are the ones who need a cheering section this week, after a fire tore through their beloved gym.

The gym burnt to the ground last Monday, when temperatures were at record lows and the Franklin Fire Department had quite a difficult task on its hands. Most of the building was completely destroyed, much of it occupied by Fierce All-Stars.

Fierce is a cheering and gymnastics team founded by Crystal Dyer and her sister three years ago.

“I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s awful,” Dyer said.

Now Dyer is left picking up the pieces, as her 75 cheerleaders are learning the hard way what life can bring.

“I burst into tears and I was sad when it happened,” junior cheerleader Maci Tharp said.

Fierce has several competitive teams as well as a group open to children with special needs, who cheer at the gym free of charge.

“Their confidence when they first came in, compared to a year with us or six months with us is tremendous,” Dyer said.

It’s why the team is pushing forward and living up to their name, Fierce, in a way they never expected.

“We just want to get it back as quickly as possible,” Dyer said.

That’s because for the cheerleaders, it is a big part of their lives.

“I like that all my friends are there to support me and help me,” cheerleader Kaleigh Atwood said.

It’s one Dyer can’t stand to see left in the ashes.

“I would rather my own home burn, so that it would only be me, not me and 74 other children and their parents,” Dyer said.

If you’d like to contribute to a fundraising campaign for the new Fierce All-Stars gym, go to this link.