Tim Thrane wrestled for Shoreham-Wading River and Eastport-South Manor two decades ago. He returned to the Wildcats’ gym Friday night as both teams honored him for his sacrifice and commitment as a Suffolk County police officer.
“If I can inspire people, it’s for a good cause,” Thrane said. “When they ask me to speak about drunk driving or talk to these young guys about life and wrestling, I love doing that stuff.”
Thrane, 36, was responding to an accident on the night of Nov. 3, 2021, when he was struck by a drunk driver that left him in life-threatening condition. He broke 14 bones and suffered severe head trauma.
After receiving his last rites, Thrane was rushed to Stony Brook University Hospital for surgeries. Doctors revived him multiple times in the process. He was put on life support as he was in a coma for a month.
“I just think he really deserves [this honor],” Shoreham-Wading River head coach Joe Condon said. “He’s a guy who sacrifices to keep the streets safe. He put himself on the line to help people, and he got hurt. And he’s a wrestler to both programs.”
Throughout the recovery process, family, friends, neighbors and the police department shoveled his snow, raked his leaves, put up Christmas lights, provided food and picked up his kids from school.
Janelle Thrane, Tim’s wife, credits everyone’s generosity and doesn’t know “what we would have done if everyone didn’t help us out so much.”
Thrane returned to his job with the police department on Nov. 2.
“He works in the community we live in,” Janelle said. “He likes to protect where we live. I think always having that dream of wanting to be a cop when he grew up and not being able to fulfill it, helped him have the drive to make it back.”
The schools raised money for Thrane and his family with t-shirt sales and donations. Donations can still be made and the link can be found under the events tab on the Shoreham-Wading River Wildcat Athletic Club website (swrwac.org).
Shoreham-Wading River went on to defeat Eastport-South Manor, 54-10, in a non-league match. Gio Aliotta, Will Miller, Joe Steimel, Nate Spuhler, Connor Albano, Zack Wilson and Aidan Franks each won individual matches via pins.
“Him telling us his story let us know that wrestling can take you more places than just being a county champ,” Steimel said. “It can guide you through life.”