NDAPSSA Special Achievement Award: Dressler, Aspaas, Johnson

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 8:23 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The North Dakota A.P. Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association holds its annual meeting in June. One of the major items on the agenda is to select things like the players, coaches and teams of the year.

There’s also a category called special achievement. It’s our highest honor. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime selection and it takes a 75% vote of the membership.

Bismarck’s Weston Dressler is one of three receiving the special achievement award.

Dressler’s career in professional football will be highlighted in August when he goes into the Saskatchewan Roughriders Plaza of Honour. Dressler helped the Riders win the Grey Cup in 2013.

Prior to that, he set 19 school records for the University of North Dakota, and prior to that Dressler had a record-setting career at Bismarck High in football, track and basketball.

Dave Zittleman, Bismarck activities director, said: “No question, Weston not only at Bismarck High but in the State of North Dakota has to be recognized as one of the greatest athletes for many reasons. At Bismarck High, track might not have been his favorite sport, but you never would have known it when he was in track. What stood out most to me is he had all of these individual accolades and awards, but his true goal was to make his team better and for his team to be successful. Not only at Bismarck High but then UND and then he moved on to the CFL which he was a professional athlete.”

Kathy Aspaas is also receiving the Special Achievement Award. She spent 45 years coaching swimming at the high school level. Aspaas led Minot to 22 state championships and all she did at Century is win six more titles in six years. She taught swimming to some of the best ever in North Dakota.

Aspaas said: “Probably the most well know of them would be Dagni Kuntson and my nephew Matt Lowe and coming here to Century with the Palmer girls and Vanessa Herrman and Lexi Duchscherer and they just had such a positive work ethic and a lot of talent when it comes right down to it but it just meant the world to coach them and have them realize their dreams.”

Joining Aspaas and Dressler in receiving the Special Achievement Award is Wayne Johnson.

He retired following a 53-year coaching career, the last 20 at Dakota College-Bottineau.

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