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Benchwarmer Says He’s Also Sitting Out Due to “Load Management”

Everybody needs rest.

DES MOINES, IOWA - The practice of uninjured players sitting out games to ensure they’re healthy for meaningful contests in the postseason, termed “load management,” has apparently spread to Dalton Middle School, where seventh-grade benchwarmer Ryan Kiesling said his lack of playing time in any of the team’s first four games basketball will keep him fresh for when it matters.

“I think it’s pretty clear what coach is doing,” said Kiesling, who made the 15-man roster after a grueling tryout of 15 players. “Only playing me in the last two minutes of blowouts means my gangly legs will be fresh, you know, for the other meaningless ends of blowouts. It’s a sound strategy.”

Coach Stan Levine, who had to be reminded several times which one was Ryan Kiesling, agreed it was a deliberate decision not to play the benchwarmer.

“It was pretty obvious the best move for the team was keeping Ryan on the bench,” said Coach Levine during his day job as a middle school Phys Ed teacher. “Guys like him, you want to use in the right moments, like during that sort-of fake 5th quarter we do, or during practice, or sometimes not at all during practice if we really need to get things right.”

Kiesling, who stayed sharp during the final minutes of last week’s game by trying out several new flavors of Gatorade, said he’s a firm believer in this new analytical style of coaching.

“I’ll do whatever Coach says, whether that’s to keep my warm-up outfit on, or to look into other clubs I could join instead of basketball.”

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