It has become a highlight on the Methuen sports calendar for years, one that pays homage to a respected mentor and aids today’s local athletes in their endeavors. Indeed, the Dennis Bistany Golf Tournament is about the past, present and future of Methuen sports. This year’s tournament will be held at Merrimack Golf Club in Methuen on Monday, July 29. The event will have a shotgun start at 8am.

This year’s tournament will feature Longest Drive and Closest to the Pin contests for both men and women as well as a putting contest, Hole in One contest, and Get it on the Green competitions. This fun event still has openings for foursomes at a cost of $155 per golfer. Interested golfers can call Bill Bryant at (978) 609-6199.

Bryant, the tournament lead organizer, talks about this year’s event and what is in store for golfers.

“Each year, we try to engage the community and golfers with a mix of the tradition of the Dennis Bistany Golf Tourney, as well as some new golfers and exciting raffle prizes and contests,” he said.

“This year, we are having sponsors put their names on a banner that will be at the Methuen High School Larry Klimas Fieldhouse, Nicholson Stadium, MHS softball and baseball fields, and other locales to maximize the sponsor’s exposure.”

As always, the tournament pays tribute to the legacy of a beloved Methuen teacher and coach.

“Dennis Bistany was a well-liked and respected elementary school teacher at the Marsh School and a member of the MHS Baseball coaching staff,” explains Bryant. “He loved kids and coaching baseball. To honor Dennis and his love for kids and sports alike, the Dennis Bistany Scholarship Fund and the MAIC/MHS Boosters are hosting the 14th annual Dennis Bistany Memorial Golf Tournament. Our 2024 scholarship winners are Alexis Anthony and Drew LaChance.”

Beyond just putts and prizes, the Bistany Tournament plays a crucial role in today’s Methuen sports scene. Proceeds ensure that young athletes now and in the future are aligned with the best equipment and clothing to further enjoy the games.

Says Bryant, “The importance of this golf tournament can be seen directly in all of the Methuen High School athletic teams. Since taking over this tournament, the funds raised have not only upgraded the uniforms and equipment for all of the varsity sports at MHS, but has also allowed the junior varsity and freshman teams to benefit from the varsity uniforms being passed down to them. In the past, the JV and frosh uniforms may have been older than 8-10 years old.”

The tournament team is still hoping to secure more sponsorships for the July 29 tournament, but as always, Bryant puts what is going on in the community first.

“Unfortunately, we have had two tragedies in the Methuen over the past year, the passing of Alyssa Fluet and the serious injury to MHS Coach Bill James. Both families have run major fund-raisers: one for a scholarship and the other to support the cost of equipment to support the James family. We have supported these events and stand together with those families. We have really held off on reaching out to businesses for the golf tournament until after these events so as not to interfere with active fund-raising for both families,” he explained.

Speaking of community involvement, the results of funds raised through the Dennis Bistany Golf Tournament are truly tangible. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of so many sponsors, organizers, golfers and volunteers, every Methuen High School sports team has received new uniforms with two or three sets over the past 10 years.

The tournament also helped acquire the digital sign at the front entrance of MHS and the digital scoreboard at the Klimas Fieldhouse. In addition, thousands of dollars have gone to MHS Athletic Trainer Al Delano’s continued efforts to support the physical health and wellness of Methuen student-athletes.

Bryant has taken a lead role in organizing and publicizing the tournament, but he has not been alone in the cause.

“We have so many people involved in putting this tournament together every year. My wife Pam Bryant and Lorraine Anthony do so much to help,” he said. “Colleen McCarthy has joined this group over the past three years and has been a huge addition to the group. Renee Czyzewski and Angela Kalivas have been terrific along with the rest of the board. The Merrimack Valley Golf Course has also been a great partner.”

John Molori is an author, columnist and a 2011 inductee into the Methuen Athletic Hall of Fame. Facebook: John Molori, Twitter @MoloriMedia. Email molorimedia@gmail.com

Former New England Patriot Patrick Pass and 2024 Bistany Golf Tournament senior scholarship winner Alexis Anthony

Methuen gymnast Divier Ramos has qualified to be a part of the United States Junior National Team and will represent the U.S. in international competitions. We will follow Divier’s progress over the next year and wish him much success

Enjoying the 2023 Dennis Bistany Tournament are (from left) Joshua Rogato, Fernando Mancini, Michael Cooper and Jonathan Caux. Courtesy photos