Speaker has been sparking Bedford High soccer team

BEDFORD – In baseball, they call it being, “in the zone.”

In hoops, you’re just “feelin’ it.”

On the soccer pitch?

“It’s just confidence,” said Bedford High midfielder Charley Speaker, who has to hit this weekend as the hottest soccer scorer in the entire Granite State.

“He’s just broken a school record, eight goals on the spin, which has never happened before in 11 years,” said Bedford coach Stuart Pepper of the eight-game run.

Most recently on Tuesday night, Speaker had a goal and an assist as the Bulldogs raced into Londonderry and pulled out the 3-1 decision to move to 10-1 on the year.

The Bulldogs, who’ve won 10 straight with five to play, currently sit just ahead of Exeter for the top spot. Speaker has just been amazing in the run.

“He’s a senior captain. He’s our leader,” said Pepper.

“He leads from the front and scores big goals in big games.”

The sizzling scoring touch has taken everyone, even Speaker, who netted five goals last year, by surprise.

He’s never once had a roll like this. “Nothing even close,” he said.

The secret, of course, has been the teamwork up front, and the high level of skill the Bulldogs possess, led by fellow captain Richard D’Amico.

“I like to keep the ball in our possession, and we’ve got a lot of skill,” said Speaker.

“When we play it on the ground, we can be pretty tough.”

Bedford will have to keep the ball down and under control the rest of the way if the Bulldogs are to halt the playoff misfortune recent teams have undergone.

“I think the last two years, we’ve been beaten as the No. 1,” said Pepper. “We’re keeping a clear head on the next game. This team is more humble than we’ve been in past, we respect teams more. Sometimes the better team doesn’t win. It’s not just about skill and ability. It’s about mental strength and tactical direction.”

Speaker and D’Amico have worked hard as captains to get the message out that what has happened in the past is unacceptable.

“We’re not thinking about that. We’re just going into the playoffs and thinking about being tough,” said Speaker.

“I think (in the past) we’ve played scared.”

Regardless of what happens in the upcoming playoffs, Speaker certainly has a bright future, whether it’s with soccer attached or not.

A ridiculously talented student, he owns a 4.3 gpa and also produced a 1,500 combined (1,600 is a perfect score) on the SAT.

That included a 790 in math, which is basically one wrong.

Speaker is looking at schools like Cornell and Notre Dame.

“I just want to go to the best academic school that I can get into,” he said.