MERRILLVILLE | "Honestly have no idea where I would be in this world without my coach, dessert eating partner, advisor, personal comedian, and all around best friend. Love my dad more than anyone could ever imagine. For all his efforts and time put into trying to make me successful, I hope that one day I can repay him for it all."
What the Crown Point brothers Bay and Brad Kurtz are doing on the soccer field is certainly helping them give their father, Dave Kurtz, the return that Bay declared to give him from the aforementioned Instagram post written back on Father's Day.
The senior-freshman tandem has its team three wins away from hoisting the program's second state title in three years.
"Our dad kept us away from bad habits. He gets most of the credit because he's been training us since we were three," said Bay, a recent Liberty University signee.
When Bay was a sophomore, he contributed with 11 goals and a team-high 12 assists on a state-title team that was loaded with upperclassmen talent and it won him 2011 Times Player of the Year honor.
"Bay is composed and really smooth with the ball," said Brad. "I can always count on him for a play."
An example of how much the Bulldogs have in Brad, he takes most of the corner kicks when C.P. gets the ball on the left corner while Bay takes most of them from the right side.
"Brad is a phenomenal playmaker and we have a good connection," said Bay. "We have scored a few goals on set pieces from Brad's side because he has a great left foot."
This season, Brad has scored seven goals, which is good for 4th on a team that includes second-team all-state player Carmelo Morales and Lowell's all-time regular season scoring leader in transfer Stojan Krsteski, who each have double-digit goals this year.
With all of the names in the star-studded starting lineup, Brad feels right at home, even though he is just a freshman.
"I see how the seniors play together and I just try to complement them as a player," said Brad.
Bay, who played at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy last year, decided to come back as a senior to play with his brother and try to win another state title for the Class 2A No. 4 Bulldogs.
"Playing together makes this season more special for the two," Crown Point coach Mike Bazin said. "Brad has made a great impact and Bay has been consistent the entire year."