Fleet afoot as a sophomore in 2009, Stacey Bedell (above) has gotten even faster on the field. He is rapidly raising his profile off the field as well. Though the Floyd running back only packs 160 pounds on his 5-11 frame, the junior has already attracted attention from several major Division I schools in the Northeast. Imagine the interest he’ll generate as this season unfolds.
“It’s a statement year,” said Bedell, whose 40-yard dash time improved from 4.5 in 2009 to 4.42 this summer. He was talking about both himself and his team. “We have a lot of young talent and we have great speed. Our main focus is to win the championship. I can’t wait to play Sachem North.”
Ah yes, Sachem North. A little rivalry is brewing here as the Flaming Arrows snagged the coaches’ No. 1 seed for the first time since the school district split in 2005. North stunned Floyd last year in Week 1, but the Colonials returned the favor on a bigger stage, winning the Suffolk championship game to deal Sachem North its only loss of the 2009 season.
“It’ll be fun to see how we do,” said Floyd coach Paul Longo, accustomed to being the top seed. “I don’t mind not being the favorite in every game. I call us the Young Colonials. We lost a lot of talent from last year and we have 10 sophomores on varsity. But this is one of the fastest teams we’ve ever had here. We have great overall team speed.”
That speed starts with Bedell, the team’s leading rusher last season with 869 yards and 10 touchdowns. No wonder the college scouts are abuzz. “Stacey is a great player, a great student and a great kid,” Longo said. “He’s run a legit 4.4 at the camps and combines. He’s very, very fast. If we make noise this year, it’s because of him.”
Bedell hopes to eventually add weight without subtracting speed, but acknowledged it’s hard to pack on the pounds when you work as hard as he did in the summer. “I did speed training and drills for cutting and vision. I know I have to improve my [pass] catching and gain some weight,” he said.
Even though he’s slight for a running back that also starts at defensive back, Bedell hardly shies away from contact. “When I got hit in my first varsity scrimmage last year, I felt it,” he admitted. “But ever since, it doesn’t faze me a bit. I can take a hit and bounce right up.”
Of course, opposing tacklers will have to catch Bedell before they can hit him. That won’t be easy.