COLUMBIA — Rock Bridge boys basketball coach Jim Scanlon said he considers senior Jordan Dressler a significant advantage for his team. In the past three years, Scanlon has seen Dressler develop physically and watched his fundamental techniques improve.
With three years of experience as a varsity starter, Scanlon looks to Dressler for leadership. Scanlon describes Dressler as a “humble, quiet leader," and says his dedication in practice has influenced the team’s less experienced players.
“Younger players have seen how good he is and how much he has worked to be good,” Scanlon said. “Our younger post players respect him and learn to work from what he’s done in practice.”
Rock Bridge senior guard Skylar Tolson says away from basketball, Dressler is "a very laid-back kid."
"He's kind of goofy," he said. "We like to give him a hard time."
Rock Bridge (25-2)
vs. Waynesville (21-6)
What: Class 5 sectional
When: 6 p.m.
Where: Union High School
Regardless of his quiet, reserved demeanor off the court, Dressler’s dominating presence cannot be ignored on the court. The 6-foot-8 forward has offensive intelligence and defensive power. Dressler is scoring close to 14 points and grabbing about nine rebounds a game this season.
Tolson says Dressler demonstrates an aggressive and tenacious mentality in game situations.
“He leads by example, and plays with a kill-or-be-killed attitude,” Tolson said. “When he gets fired up, you definitely see it feed through the rest of our team.”
Dressler’s consistent performance has also drawn the attention of college recruiters.
With athletic scholarship offers from Illinois State, Southern Illinois, Utah State, and multiple Missouri Valley Conference schools, Dressler found his future collegiate home in Ohio, at the University of Toledo.
Born and raised in Columbia, Dressler is anxious about moving 600 miles away from home.
“My mom is going to have to teach me to do laundry,” Dressler admitted with a laugh.
Dressler’s accomplishments transcend his abilities on the court. Dressler, who says he has a 3.68 GPA, intends to pursue a business major at Toledo.
Dressler says his family has continually encouraged and supported his high school activities. Dressler says he looks to his father, Mark Dressler, who played Missouri basketball under coach Norm Stewart nearly 30 years ago, for inspiration and guidance in basketball and life.
“I look to my family for support and help whenever I am struggling,” said Jordan Dressler on juggling his athletic and academic responsibilities.
Dressler and his father, being the only males in a family of five, have a strong relationship. The two cook together and enjoy spending time outdoors. When he is not scoring points or snagging rebounds, Dressler and his father often sneak away to Bennett Springs in Lebanon to fish for bass and trout.
Dressler is eager for a trip to San Diego after graduation. It has become a family tradition for Dressler’s grandmother and aunt to vacation with a graduating senior.
Before graduation, Dressler is determined to end to his Rock Bridge basketball career with a much-anticipated state championship. The Bruins’ have reached sectional play the past three seasons without advancing to the quarterfinals.
“Every year when we’ve gotten knocked out, I’ve always gone to the state tournament and just wondered what it’d be like to finally win one," Dressler said.
The team will soon have its opportunity for redemption. Rock Bridge (25-2) will face Waynesville (21-6) at 6 p.m. Wednesday night in Union.