ATHENS, Texas (KETK) — The Trinity Valley Cardinals battled through adversity all year long with loss after loss, but the confidence in the locker room never wavered.

“Man it means everything because we know how hard we worked because we’ve been through the ups and the downs, tears and blood everything so it really means a lot because I know what we’ve been through,” exclaims forward Micah Clark.

Head coach Mark Leslie has been an assistant and head coach at Trinity Valley for 11 seasons and he’s been to the national tournament, but this year it means more, doing it with his son.

“He is in the picture, the championship picture that’s on the cover that they use always and he is on that picture, Little MJ so it’s great to be able to go with him as a player now,” tells coach Leslie.

“It’s unreal it means a lot to do it with him, you know, we dreamed about these times growing up and seeing him do it with other teams and I was just around in the background just spectating, now to do it with him myself, it means a lot,” declares guard M.J. Leslie.

For Leslie seeing his son M.J. step up when his number was called, was special.

“It was perfect timing for MJ to step up and have that night, it was perfect timing,” says coach Leslie.

“I never realized how deep it is in the game because you’re so locked in on the moment and the shot, each shot is very important and you got to focus on every shot like it’s you’re last,” explains MJ.

As TVCC prepares for the national tournament, coach Leslie wants to see their A+ game And what does that consist of?

“High energy and then high energy focus that rebounding and defending and getting hands-on balls and getting on the floor. That’s our A plus game and then the rest take care of itself,” tells Coach Leslie.

With the Region 14 Championship, the Cards look to prove they are battle-tested, for their trip to Hutch.