In many ways, it’s been a lot harder than former Whittier Tech star Ken Olisky of Haverhill ever projected.
Forming a new team, organizing it and then coaching it has been one tough undertaking for Olisky, former Central standout Brad Tardugno and former Methuen star Evan Tardugno,
But calling the newest entry of the North Shore League the “Bistany Bombers” was easy as easy can be.
“I always wanted to coach and run things and we talked a lot about creating a team,” said Olisky. “We felt that if we did get a team, we’d name it after the AAU coach we played for.”
That coach was Lawrence’s Dennis Bistany, who died in a drowning accident in 2009 at the age of 43. He had coached baseball at every level, from Little League to AAU to Fisher College, and the threesome were all affected by him.
Olisky and Evan Tardugno played on Bistany’s AAU team and Olisky later played for him with the Malden Bulldogs and at Fisher. Brad Tardugno was an assistant under Bistany in the summer.
“I played for him for 12 years and he’s the reason I wanted to get into coaching,” said Olisky, who has also coached a 10-year-old AAU team. “He was always ‘Coach Bistany’. He never stopped teaching, he never stopped coaching.
“He had a big influence on me, he had a big influence on a lot of kids.”
Olisky is finding out first hand that managing a summer team as Bistany did for so many years is no easy undertaking.
“We started working on it last year and we didn’t get things squared away until March,” said Olisky. “Because we started so late, it was a struggle (recruiting) at first but it got better once the word got out and we got several players from Northern Essex.