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Boys soccer: Coach’s bare feet bring good luck to Blue Bison

Shaker boys soccer is off to a 4-1 start under Fountain

Shaker boys soccer coach Dan Fountain works the sidelines barefoot during a Sept. 19 crosstown rivalry game against Colonie. Fountain says he coaches without shoes or socks on his feet whenever the weather permits.

Shaker boys soccer coach Dan Fountain works the sidelines barefoot during a Sept. 19 crosstown rivalry game against Colonie. Fountain says he coaches without shoes or socks on his feet whenever the weather permits. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— A split-second decision has turned into a superstition for Shaker boys soccer coach Dan Fountain.

As he drove up to coach his first varsity game with the Blue Bison last season, he realized he left the sandals he wanted to wear during the game at home. Not wanting to get his dress shoes dirty, he decided to coach the game barefoot.

“We won that game 5-0, so I’ve been wearing bare feet ever since,” said Fountain.

“We always bust on him about that,” said senior forward Danny Brant. “But, he always wears shoes when it gets cold so he doesn’t get sick.”

There are perils to being barefoot on the sidelines of a soccer field, such as stepping on small rocks. But, Fountain said he deals with it.

“These boys play through pain all the time,” said Fountain. “If they can do that, I should be able to handle a little pain.”

Fountain’s bare feet brought Shaker good luck again last week, as the Blue Bison defeated crosstown rival Colonie 2-1 Thursday to improve their record to 4-1.

“The South Colonie-North Colonie game is always intense,” said Fountain. “It’s always a battle from the first whistle to the last whistle.”

Colonie (1-6) got the jump on Shaker when Matt Walsh intercepted a bad clearing attempt by the Blue Bison defense in the first minute and passed the ball to Paulino Curto, who scored to make it 1-0.

The Garnet Raiders maintained their lead until Shaker’s Pat Mahoney headed in his first goal of the season 10 minutes into the second half. The Blue Bison continued to apply pressure on Colonie’s defense, and it paid off when Brant’s shot trickled off the Colonie goaltender’s arms and over the goal line.

“I saw it coming, and I just thought to myself, I have to make contact with it,” said Brant, who was set up by a pass from Carter Haydock.

“It’s a cliché. Some games you get the bounce, and some games you don’t,” said Fountain.

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