ELKINS - Tackling 100 years of Elkins High School is not a simple task. Just ask former player and coach Chad Ware. He's putting the finishing touches on a pandora's box of information that covers every Tigers team from the past century.
Ware explained the compendium is comparable to a media guide that contains detailed information for every team from 1915 to date. Once complete, he said it will be available in both digital and booklet format.
"A lot of people, their favorite team is the Steelers or the Mountaineers," Ware said. "Mine is the orange and black. I played there three seasons, coached 16 years and did the radio broadcast for the past three years. It's what I love."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Ben Simmons
Elkins resident Chad Ware looks through some old Elkins High School football pictures. Ware is in the process of putting together a digital book on 100 years of Elkins High School football.
Elkins High School legend Marshall ‘Biggie’ Goldberg is shown during his All-American days at Pitt.
The 1928 Elkins High School state champion football team is shown. The squad is the lone Elkins High School football team to capture a state title on the gridiron.
Ware has spent almost a decade compiling nearly every possible tidbit of information that he could gather about the Tigers. However, he says the project never would have gotten off the ground without the work of Elkins resident David Harold.
"I'm really just trying to put an endcap to what David Harold started," Ware said. "Honestly, without his work, this never would have gotten underway. He did a lot of work covering the years from 1915 to 1989."
While Ware calls the project a "labor of love," he said it has even invaded his dreams.
"I woke up dreaming one night, and it was like I knew these guys," Ware said. "All of these photos and stories, they engulf you and you become a part of it. You have to do that to make it good. It's hard, but its worth it."
From a player in the late 1980's Ware's passion for the Tigers has always burned strong. In 1995, he joined the coaching staff as an assistant. In 2003, he was promoted to offensive coordinator, and team made it to the playoffs. He says that's what inspired him to undertake the project.
"We had a pretty good team and it got me thinking about how we would matchup with the other good teams from the past," Ware said. "So, for the past 10 years, I've been collecting and gathering, trying to connect from where (Dave Harold) left off to where we've went."
Once the project got underway, Ware said he started pulling on Tigers head coach Greg Hott for additional resources. He said Hott has been instrumental in completing the project.
"Coach Hott has a lot of stats," Ware said. "He's also got a lot of pictures and a pretty good scanner. Once we started putting pictures to it, it brought the project to life.
"We have scores for every single game. I've almost got them totalled by opponents, all time records, points scored, points against, you name it - there is no stone unturned," Ware said.
Among the greatest teams, Ware said the 1945 squad went 9-0 and had the highest per-game scoring average in school history at 38 points. He also noted the 1928 team went 10-0 and is the only one to earn a state championship.
"Everybody has a memory to share, that's what makes it great," Ware said. "I enjoy finding the nuggets, finding the real gems. Rick "Hoopy" Liston, a guy like that, most people have never heard of him. He had back to back 1,000 yard rushing seasons on teams that won a combined five games in two years. I love it when I find information like that."
Along with all the former Tigers, Ware said the 1994 Forest Hills team is also represented in the work.
"They are represented in their school colors," Ware said. "I gave them their due and made a note that the school name existed for one season. To me they are still Tigers. They just wore a different color jersey that year."
Ware is asking for anyone with team photos, player photos or other information to contact him. He is especially interested in stuff from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. He hopes to have the work completed in the upcoming months and ready for the 2015 season.
"The response has really been great," Ware said. "A lot of people have stepped forward and opened up their personal collections to me. Some of them have brought me boxes grandpa's stuff with photos and news clippings. I'm always looking for scrap books, anything that links to EHS football."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Ware via Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.