“He was just beloved by the community”: Chad Ware remembers the Elkins Superfan


ELKINS, W.Va. – The city of Elkins lost a local icon last week.

The Elkins Superfan, John Zirbs, passed away at the age of 63 on Wednesday May 12.

Zirbs was known by all, and by many names, in Tiger country — “Mr. Elkins”; “Mr. Forest Festival”; and of course “Elkins Superfan”.

Rarely, over the last forty seasons or more, was there an Elkins High School football game played with Zirbs not in attendance.

Zirbs loved his Tigers; bled orange and black.

The “Voice of the Tigers,” Chad Ware, remembers the Elkins Superfan.

“It started when he was a high school senior. He told everyone a lab experiment turned him into Superfan. For forty years, I mean, he literally missed a handful of games. The impact he had on them today was, I think, remarkable, and truly it was a loss that was felt deeply by a lot of different people. … Mr. Forest Festival, Mr. Elkins, you name it. He was just beloved by the community, never met a stranger. And just really, I think his interaction with the kids throughout the years, and the coaches, I think it just really stands above anything I’ve ever seen.”

Chad Ware, former Elkins football player and coach, and current “Voice of the Tigers”

Zirbs will be remembered at Wimer Stadium Thursday evening at 8 o’clock.

We’ll have video and comments from that ceremony this evening on 12 News at 11 o’clock.

The full interview with Ware can be found in the interview below.

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