Manchester University
Oak Leaves

April 1, 2016


PLAQUE GETS SERVED Sophomore Garrett Bear shows off his new floss-strung racket. 

Tennis Team Replaces Racket Strings with Floss

Stratton Smith

Manchester University's men's tennis team is breaking the barrier between sports and dental hygiene. This spring season the men will not be using traditional tennis strings to string their rackets, but will employ dental floss instead. This will be the second American tennis program to incorporate dental accessories into their tennis ensemble (behind the 1997 Davis Cup team, which mouth washed between every changeover).

Eric Christiansen, head men's tennis coach, is the enforcer behind this new strategic change. "I knew we needed a change as soon as I saw the plaque build-up on these guys," Christiansen commented. He admits that the team’s success on the court may not correspond to the implentation of the dental floss strings. "Are we better? No . . . but cavities ain't no joke, son," he stated.

This newly found change warped the mindset of sophomore tennis sensation Spencer Thomas. Thomas has had struggles his whole life in what he calls the "dental game." "Gingivitis is a dangerous game to get caught up in,” said Thomas haltingly. “Before, I just worried about my net game at tennis practice, but now I'm looking out for my dental hygiene."

Thomas now seems to be looking to the future. "Floss is just the beginning,” he said. “We're working Listerine and whitening strips into our daily conditioning sessions. Run a mile on the tread mill, then floss it out for fifteen (minutes)." Thomas even admits to be in affiliation with the recent mascot-change petitions. "We started a petition to change our mascot from the Manchester Spartans to the Manchester Plaque Killers," Thomas said. "We hope to not be affiliated with any local gangs such as the Crowns and Caps Mafia, the Root Canal Crew, or the Fluoride Flexers.”

Sophomore Isaac Collis has noticed several changes within his tennis and dental game. "My shots are a little wilder now, but my breath smells a thousand times better," Collis said. He even has stated that dental floss "changed him spiritually" on the tennis court. "I'd like to thank not only God, but Jesus for sending me this tennis program that is willing to accept me, despite my crooked teeth."

Unfortunately, they are not seeming hopeful to win much, but they have a new-found confidence. "We may not play better per se, but I feel confident we'll have the least amount of cavities in the conference," Collis said.

The program, at one point, was reportedly in contract sponsorship talks with Crest, the oral hygiene and toothpaste company. "We're looking to get sponsored by Crest, but we ran into some contract negotiation issues," Coach Christiansen added.