He earned the nickname "Big Game Bedell'' for saving his finest moments for the biggest games. Floyd senior halfback Stacey Bedell had a knack for playing the role of superstar in the postseason.
And the three-year starter saved his best high school performance for his last game. The 5-11, 175-pound Bedell led Floyd to three straight appearances in the Long Island Championships, but it was his third title game that will never be forgotten.
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Bedell left a capacity crowd at Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium gasping Nov. 27, rushing for an LIC-record 412 yards and four touchdowns as Floyd defeated East Meadow, 54-47, for the Long Island Class I title.
For his accomplishments, Bedell was named a co-winner of the 52nd Carl A. Hansen Award, presented to Suffolk's top player, at the Suffolk County High School Football Coaches Association banquet Monday nightat the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge. Bedell shared the award with Sachem North halfback/quarterback Dalton Crossan.
"Winning the Class I title was the most important thing for me," Bedell said. "I wanted to win the last game of the season so bad. And I will always have those moments to share with my teammates.
"To win the Hansen is such an honor. I'm very proud of this accomplishment. And it's an honor to share the award with a good friend and a great player like Dalton Crossan."
The Class I win also made a prophet of Bedell, who proclaimed that his Colonials finally would win the LIC after consecutive losses to Freeport. The kid with the boyish smile refused to go out on a sour note. And it took a record-breaking performance to bring home the title.
"We will not lose this time," he said before the season as he playfully teased Freeport quarterback Isaiah Barnes at a magazine photo shoot. "It's my year to earn a championship ring."
Bedell was spectacular in the Class I final against East Meadow, scoring on runs of 80, 80, 59 and 51 yards and adding 121/2 tackles. His hop, skip and jump touchdown run for 59 yards left would-be tacklers strewn across LaValle's landscape. It also left the stadium crowd awestruck.
"There aren't enough superlatives to describe Stacey," Floyd coach Paul Longo said. "He is truly an amazing student-athlete. Every time you think you've seen it all, Stacey does something even more impressive."
Bedell finished the season with 2,532 rushing yards, third- most in Suffolk history. He had 39 touchdowns and two two-point conversion runs, scoring 238 points, and also earned the Suffolk Division I MVP award.
In the season opener, Bedell carried seven times in the first half, scored five touchdowns and didn't play in the second half of a blowout. He had TDs of 94 and 95 yards against Northport.
His lateral movement and quick feet made him difficult to stop in the open field, and his ability to change direction and avoid tacklers made him a big-play threat on any carry.
"He was a threat to score from anywhere on the field at any moment," Longo said. "We were never in trouble because all it took was the slightest opening to get him into space and he was gone."
And perhaps his single greatest asset is his personality. Bedell, a straight-A student, is beloved in his community for his work with younger athletes.
"He is a great kid, a true role model in our community," Longo said. "He's a winner all the way around."