By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
George Belden has so much passion for the Windham Bombers that he cannot contain it to himself.
He must share the stories.
Belden’s book, “The Windham Bombers, Volume Two: More Stories of the Black and Gold” is now available for purchase on Amazon.
The book can be found by here.
The book is bursting with stories from yesteryear, with 353 pages spanning 12 chapters, which include:
1. The birth of Windham football
2. The Portage County League is born
3. Bob Jordan and the year of the giants
4. Ron Kamada: The forgotten giant of Windham basketball coaches
5. Marty Hill and the impossible dream
6. The legend of the 1978 Bombers
7. The 1984-86 football teams: The evolution of a champion
8. Ted McDivitt and the greatest team of all: The 1980-81 girls basketball team
9. Jerry Kiser and the return to greatness: The 2001 and 2002 baseball teams
10. Windham in the Civil War: Those who did not return
11. Windham’s original Ghostbuster: Thomson Jay Hunter
12. Windham High School Athletic Hall of Fame (inductees from years 1995-2023
Belden’s offering is the sequel to his first book, which was titled: The Windham Bombers: The First Half-Century of Small Town Athletic History.
“I began writing this book after the first one was published in 2016, but sometimes golf and travel with my wife took first priority, since I got to play golf in almost every one of the lower 48 states,” said Belden, who is a retired teacher from the Maple Heights district. “I really got serious about this book last year after I had a heart attack, and I knew I had teams I wanted to still chronicle.”
Even still, Belden’s admits “I’m only up to 2002 with so many more great Marty Hill basketball teams, Joe Baum football teams and Mike Chaffee volleyball teams to write about.
In writing his second book about the Bombers, Belden found out special information about his own family that he did not know before.
“I did not know that my grandfather played on the very first Windham football team in 1917,” Belden said. “He died eight years before I was born and all I knew about him was that I inherited his red hair. I found a picture of him as a lineman — something every single Belden was doomed to become.”
There have been plenty of blessings for Belden, too, including the opportunity to play for revered football coach Leo Kot.
“I will go to my grave saying that my football coach, Leo Not, was the greatest influence on my life. He taught me how to interact with other people in a team format, something I did not really appreciate until I became a head coach myself. Working with high-school athletes, I really grew to appreciate what sports means to a tiny school like Windham,” Belden said.
And the chapters of his new book help further keep the Bombers’ memories alive.
Read on to bring them back to life yourself.