MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s hard to explain what this experience is like to compete in the state tournament unless you’ve done it.

And it’s hard to appreciate it fully unless you’ve done it, and then had to wait an excruciatingly long decade to do it again.

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That decade wait has included four section championship losses. Trevor Stewart was the coach at Ada-Borup when they last made the state tournament in 2009, and been trying to get them back ever since.

What finally helped them break through was his own son. Tommy’s a senior, helping to lead the way.

“There’s been a couple moments where some pretty neat people have almost made me take it in as a father, and that’s been pretty neat,” Trevor said.

Tommy was old enough to remember his dad’s last state tournament experience. In fact, he was a waterboy on the team. So to be an even bigger part of it now is, as Tommy puts it, “Awesome.”

(credit: CBS)

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“In the driveway we always go one on one against each other, he’s still playing, he’s still can hit that fadeaway from the left wing, I don’t really know how it goes in, but yeah it’s just been great,” Tommy said. “We’ve been in it together for so long and now, to go to state together and to advance to the Target Center, it’s just been a great journey.”

By now you’ve seen enough stories about fathers coaching sons that you know there are benefits and there are drawbacks.

“He picks on you a little bit more, he maybe calls your name out in practice a little bit more, ‘Hey, you didn’t do this, didn’t do this,'” Tommy said.

“I think the father side of me absolutely loves it, and then there are times where it absolutely drives me nuts,” Trevor said.

But both say, getting to end their town’s drought, together, makes it all the more rewarding.

“Coaching your own son has got some great moments,” Trevor said.

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“We’re always in it together and we have been since third grade, so it’s great,” Tommy said. “And in the end I wouldn’t trade it for anything, him being with me right by my side every step of the way, it’s been great.”