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Dressel’s aim hits what he shoots for

Generally, Bill Dressel hits what he aims for.

Friday, February 08, 2002

Generally, Bill Dressel hits what he aims for. This time, he hit something that wasn’t in his sights.

The laid-back, happy-go-lucky St. Joe Flyers senior guard has been regarded as one of the area’s top scorers the past two seasons. It’s common strategy for opposing teams that if you stop Bill Dressel, you stop the Flyers.

Despite all the defensive attention, the 6-foot-2 Dressel has continued to score as his 20.8 scoring average will attest. And that total includes games of 30 and 32 points this season.

And for all his scoring as a four-year starter, Dressel quietly eclipsed the 1,000-point career scoring mark in a game at Fairland a few weeks ago.

"I wasn’t shooting for it. It just happened," said Dressel who is the eighth player in St. Joe history to score 1,000 career points.

The elite scoring club not only includes Jim Mahlmeister, David Gagai, Pat Holmes, Chuck Jones, and Mark Stuntebeck, but his father, Bill, and his brother, Joe.

Not only is he the third person in his family to reach the milestone, but the lone female player to score 1,000 points is Lynette Anson, a relative. Lynette’s mother is the former Rose Dressel and her father, Fred Anson, was the head coach of the Flyers when dad played his senior season.

Bill’s father, Bill Sr., followed up his outstanding high school career by signing with Canisius University. He signed in 1973 and, along with South Point’s Kenny Hurst who inked with Marshall, are the last two players from Lawrence County to sign a Division I scholarship out of high school.

Although dad had great success – he was a two-year starter for Canisius – he has never compared his accomplishments to his sons.

"I never said anything to them about the points I scored or they scored. The only thing I tried to impress upon them is to elevate their game in order to give them a chance to play at the next level like I did, if that’s what they want to do," the elder Dressel said. "And the only way to get to that level is to work hard."

Since hard work is necessary to have success, Flyers head coach Adam Simpson said it is no wonder that Bill has had so much success.

"He plays hard and practices hard. He’s just that kind of player. He’s a competitor. He comes to play every night," Simpson said. "He has a great attitude and he’s a pleasure to coach. And he’s a great kid off the court."

Besides his scoring, Dressel is averaging six rebounds and nearly four assists and four steals a game. He has had several games between 10 to 12 rebounds this season.

"His whole game has improved. He’s setting guys up, he’s making assists, and his defense is great. He’s more of a complete player than other players who are just scorers. He has the height, he has the shot, and he has the hustle," Simpson said.

The youngest Dressel said he has become a better all-around player because he has learned to play with patience.

"I could tell this year that I’m jumping better and that’s helped my rebounding. But offensively things are a lot like last year. In fact, I’m getting even more attention," Bill said. "I’ve had to be more patient. I still force some shots, but I’m better at taking good shots and when the shot isn’t there, I dump it off to the open man."

Joe is currently a sophomore on the Marshall Thundering Herd men’s team. He was the only family member to miss his brother’s scoring achievement. Marshall was playing at Central Michigan that night.

"(Dad and Joe) can’t get on me any more. Joe was always on me. But I talked to Joe on the phone that night and he was really proud of me," Bill said.

Playing college basketball was always a dream for Joe, but Bill said he remains open to his future.

"I haven’t thought about (college basketball). If it doesn’t happen, it won’t be a real disappointment. I’ve enjoyed playing high school basketball," Bill said. "But if someone offers me, I’d be willing to take a look at it."

Who knows. Maybe someone will offer. It’ll just be another case of Bill Dressel hitting a target whether he’s aiming for it or not.