The last impression Tim Mullane left at West Islip will have a long shelf life. They’ll remember his toughness. They’ll remember his resolve.
A knee injury forced the 6-4, 280-pound two-way star lineman from the field in the first quarter of the Suffolk Division II title game against Half Hollow Hills West on Nov. 19. After sitting out most of the first half, he limped onto the field for the third quarter, drawing a roar from the West Islip bleachers.
Mullane’s presence couldn’t overcome a 17-point halftime deficit, but his leadership helped West Islip play Hills West even in the second half of a 38-20 loss.
“Whenever Tim Mullane was on the field, good things happened for West Islip football,” coach Steve Mileti said. “He was a game-changer. He was a coach’s player.”
Mullane had 69 tackles, including 16 for a loss, three sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He constantly beat double-teams and chop blocks and found ways to make the play.
For his accomplishments, Mullane shared the Rob Burnett Defensive Player of the Year Award with Shoreham-Wading River’s Ethan Wiederkehr. The award was presented by the Suffolk County Football Coaches Association on Monday night at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge.
“He was a leader and a captain of our team,” Mileti said. “He wasn’t scared to call teammates out if they weren’t working hard. He was a field general. He reinjured his left MCL when he got rolled on in the championship and came back in the second half to play on one leg. He played with so much heart, and that was a boost for the whole team for him to be out there.”
Mullane also was a powerful offensive lineman, finishing with 33 pancake blocks. “He could be a tackle or a guard and knew both spots,” Mileti said. “He was unbelievable.”