Travis Bledsoe, a 2005 DeLaSalle graduate and most recently the head coach at Centennial, was named to succeed Dave Thorson as coach of the Islanders boys' basketball program.

Bledsoe, 29, twice played in the state tournament under Thorson, who left DeLaSalle after 26 seasons to become an assistant coach at Drake.

The Islanders have won the past six Class 3A state titles.

Ex-Gopher hired

Former Gophers basketball player Damian Johnson has been named the coach at North St. Paul High School. He replaces Joe Janquart, who left after five seasons for the same job at Lakeville South.

Johnson, 30, played for the Gophers from 2006 to '10. He played professionally in Japan and Australia and in the NBA Development League.

Among top three

Gophers catcher Kendyl Lindaman was named one of three finalists for the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Freshman of the Year.

She is the first Big Ten player to be among the final three. The award will be presented at the Women's College World Series banquet on Tuesday in Oklahoma City.

Lindaman, of Ankeny, Iowa, was named both the Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Year. She led the conference in home runs (20), slugging percentage (.899), RBI (tied-76), walks (63), on-base percentage (.598) and batting average (.426). She was third in the NCAA in on-base percentage, tied for third in RBI, fourth in slugging percentage and seventh in home runs.

The other finalists are pitchers Maggie Balint of Oregon and Rachel Garcia of UCLA.

Top honor for Ries

Minnesota State Mankato softball pitcher Coley Ries was named to the NFCA Division II Player of the Year and its All-America first team.

The senior from Eagle Lake, Minn., is 36-3 with a 1.02 ERA, 16 shutouts and 426 strikeouts.

Teammate Jess Meidl, a Lakeville junior, was named to the All-America second team.

The second-seeded Mavericks (59-7) play seventh-seeded Southern Indiana (46-12) at 3 p.m. Thursday in the NCAA Division II World Series in Salem, Va.

U soccer schedule out

The Gophers women's soccer team will open its season Aug. 18 at Washington State and play its home opener against North Dakota State on Aug. 21. Its Big Ten opener will be on Sept. 16 at Wisconsin. The Gophers will play seven matches against 2016 NCAA tournament teams.

Last season the Gophers won the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles for the first time. Sixteen letterwinners return.


• Kevin Cashman, the head pro at Bearpath Golf and Country Club, shot a 2-under-par 70 at his home course to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open.

• The Minnesota PGA Junior Golf Association named the four 2017 recipients of its $4,000 scholarships, funded by its foundation: Ben Johnson of Andover, Gabriela Christensen of Cottage Grove, Morgan Kranz of Sauk Rapids and Parker Reddig of Minneapolis.