HILMAR -- Text messaging just isn't Frank Marques' thing.
His one-finger typing approach can even make e-mails a chore.
That's why simple text-messaging shorthand like BFF, LOL and OMG look more like college fraternities to the Hilmar football coach.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Merced Sun-Star
Something you eat.
Marques is learning fast, though.
Since Hilmar won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship last week, Marques has been flooded with congratulatory e-mails, voicemails and those hard-to-read text messages.
"I'd say I'm still a novice when it comes to text messages," Marques said.
"I had to have my daughters translate some of the messages. I had no idea what some of them said."
How did Marques respond to all his text messages?
The euphoria of Saturday's thrilling 17-6 win over Central Catholic hasn't worn off in Hilmar nearly a week later.
"It's been a little psycho," Marques said. "Everybody is still smiling."
(Too good to be true)
The players have been treated like conquering heroes.
The team will lead Hilmar's Parade of Lights on Saturday.
The blue section banner has been locked away in the principal's office since Saturday.
It did make an appearance at the team banquet this week.
It will be hung in the gym during a school assembly today.
The banner is Hilmar's first since 1989.
It will hang next to the four straight titles won by Jerry Van Lengen's teams from 1986-89.
(Keep your fingers crossed)
Meanwhile, Marques has had his team working through light practices this week just in case Hilmar earns a berth into a state bowl game.
Hilmar likely needs a Cardinal Newman loss on Saturday.
The Santa Rosa private school is facing undefeated Clayton Valley in the North Coast Section championship game.
ESPN-CalHiSports editor Mark Tennis vaulted Hilmar (12-1) to No. 2 behind Cardinal Newman (12-0) on his Northern Division III bowl rankings this week.
"If we do go, it would be a great time to rob somebody in Hilmar," Marques said.
"There's going to be a lot of people going to Carson City if we go."
(May the force be with you)
Waiting for Hilmar in Carson City will likely be St. Bonaventure.
The private school power from Ventura is ranked fourth overall in the state by Tennis and has been ranked nationally this year.
What's one more giant to slay for Hilmar?
Not many people expected Hilmar to topple Central Catholic.
(Where no one has gone before)
All Central Catholic had done was win seven straight section titles and 34 straight playoff games.
Those streaks came to a screeching halt.
Central Catholic was a team that some Southern League schools refused to play a couple years ago.
Hilmar has given every small school in the Sac-Joaquin Section hope.
"The common theme from all the messages I received from the coaches was we made Central Catholic mortal again," Marques said.
You better believe every coach who faces Central Catholic in the future will be talking about this Hilmar team and Saturday's game.
Heck, the game is probably all over YouTube by now.
Not that Marques would know.
(Ta ta for now)
Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.