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Former UND star Weston Dressler among those honored by NDAPSSA

Aspaas, Johnson and Dressler are the recipients of this year’s Special Achievement Awards by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. To receive the award, nominees needed 75 percent approval in voting by NDAPSSA members.

Weston Dressler of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers runs for yardage against Saskatchewan during a recent CFL game. Photo/Johany Jutras
Weston Dressler of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers runs for yardage against Saskatchewan during a recent CFL game. Photo/Johany Jutras
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Kathy Aspaas and Wayne Johnson built championship programs that stood the test of time.

Weston Dressler excelled on the gridiron, first in high school, then at the University of North Dakota, and at the professional level.

Aspaas, Johnson and Dressler are the recipients of this year’s Special Achievement Awards by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. To receive the award, nominees needed 75 percent approval in voting by NDAPSSA members.

Weston Dressler

Dressler will be inducted into the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Plaza of Honour in August.

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Dressler was a standout on the gridiron at every level.

At Bismarck High School, he was a first-team all-state selection and was named the Gatorade North Dakota Player of the Year. He rushed for 2,100 yards and 40 touchdowns as a senior. He was also the state champion in the 100, 200 and 400, setting state records in the 100 and 200 and was named the Gatorade North Dakota track athlete of the year.

He finished his career at UND with 19 school records. The All-American was the first player to be all-North Central Conference at three positions (wide receiver, returner, utility) in the same season. He was a first-team all-NCC pick four times for the Sioux.

The NDAPSSA voted him the high school male athlete of the year in 2004 and the college male athlete of the year in 2008. He won the Dakota Award, for North Dakotans excelling in sports outside of the state, in 2009.

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Dressler signed with the Roughriders in 2008 and became a fan favorite in the CFL. He helped the Roughriders win a Grey Cup title in 2013 and was a CFL West all-star four times and a CFL all-star in 2012 and 2013.

He ranks third all-time for the Roughriders in receiving yards (7,792) and catches (538) and fifth all-time in TDs (61).

In 2014 he signed a free agent contract and went to training camp with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs.

After playing with Saskatchewan from 2008-2015, he finished his CFL career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers from 2016-2018.

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Dressler finished with 715 catches for 10,026 yards and 61 TDs in 161 games during an 11-year CFL career.

Kathy Aspaas, Minot and Bismarck Century swimming

Aspaas spent 45 years coaching high school swimming in North Dakota.

She built a perennial power at Minot High School, producing 22 state titles before retiring in 2009. After the flood, Aspaas moved to Bismarck, where she took over the Century High School program.

The Patriots won six state titles in her six seasons leading the program. Aspaas was named the 2017 national coach of the year and was inducted into the North Dakota Coaches Hall of Fame in 2004.

Wayne Johnson, Dakota College-Bottineau basketball

Johnson retired following a 53-year coaching career.

He coached at the high school level for 33 years, first at Fairmount for 14 years and then at Rolette for 19 years.

Johnson spent the last 20 seasons at Dakota College-Bottineau, where he led the Lady Jacks to seven region titles and three district titles. The Lady Jacks made three appearances in the national tournament, including last season.

At DCB, Johnson also coached volleyball for four years and helped start the Lady Jacks’ softball program.

Related Topics: UND FOOTBALLUND SPORTS
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