Head women's basketball coach, Fred Batchelor, has landed four solid recruits for next year

Jan. 12, 2012

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore athletics program has announced that seven student-athletes have signed their national letter of intent to the institution this past November. UMES had four different teams secure players for the 2012-13 season, as the women's basketball team had four commitments, while the men's basketball, baseball and softball teams each had one.

According to the National Letter of Intent website, all programs at UMES must have players secured between Nov. 9, 2011 and Nov. 16, 2011 to be distinguished as early signees for the 2012-13 season.

Here is sneak peak at the early commitments for UMES:


Connor Breslin - 2B/SS - Bangor, Pa. - Pius X High School

  • The 6'2, 175 lb., middle infielder out of Pius X High School in Bangor, Pa., comes to the UMES baseball program as one of the top players of the 2012 graduating class in Pennsylvania. In 2010-11, he hit .373 with 29 runs and 20 RBIs in 51 at-bats.
  • His work last season with the Royals included a .492 on-base percentage and he was a perfect 8-for-8 on stolen base chances.
  • Breslin is from the same area as former UMES All-American, Brian Chaikowsky, and works out at the All-Star Baseball Academy in West Chester, Pa.


Rachel Vander Ven - C/3B - Dover, Del. - Polytech High School

  • Vander Ven comes to UMES after a successful high school and club career in Delaware. Her 12 years of softball experience, combined with a good frame behind the plate will be key.
  • She played club ball for the U18 Delaware Storm and participated in the 2011 Pennsbury Recruiting Camp last June.


Dustin Giles - Guard - Chicago, Ill. - Redlands Community College

  • Giles is a former teammate of Gregory Womack and leads RCC with a 16.0 ppg average this season.
  • Has great size (6'4) for a guard and combines a mixture of speed and sound ball handling. Has been very efficient from the field this year as he is shooting 50 percent across four games.
  • Played High School Basketball at Western Heights HS and was a first team All-Conference selection and second team All-State honoree. In his senior year, he was named Most Valuable Player at WHHS.


Ashleigh Claybrooks - Forward - Vealton, Va. - Liberty High School

  • The 6'1 forward is rated very soundly on as she is ranked as the No. 8 rebounder in Virginia AA Basketball and the No. 138 rebounder in the country for the 2012 class.
  • Claybrooks holds a grade of 82 out of 100, via the ESPN High School Girls Basketball website.
  • The forward plays club basketball with Maryland Blue Star and has formerly played AAU basketball with Gold Elite Travel and Fairfax Stars Gold Elite.

Taryana Kelly - Forward - North Brunswick, N.J. - North Brunswick High School

  • The 6'2 blue chip forward led North Brunswick High School to a 16-9 record in 2010-11. She averaged 10.8 ppg and grabbed a team-high 9.6 rpg last year.
  • In 2010-11, she shot over 40 percent from the field and collected a season-high 19 rebounds in one game. Kelly also led NBHS to the quarterfinals of the Group 4 playoffs of Central Jersey
  • According to the ESPN High School Girls Basketball website, she holds a grade of 85 out of 100.

Jaylaa Stewart - Guard/Forward - Burlington, N.C. - Williams High School

  • Stewart was a captain of the 2010-11 Williams High School women's basketball team that was 20-4 and reached the Class 3A East Regional Finals.
  • In 2010-11, the 5'11 forward averaged nearly a double-double per game and was honored as a Times-News All-Region first team performer.
  • She is ranked as the No. 39 women's basketball player in North Carolina via

Taylor Thompson - Forward - Mebane, N.C. - Cedar Ridge High School

  • The 6'1 forward from Cedar Ridge High School in Mebane, N.C., received Player of the Week laurels this season and has led the Red Wolves to an 8-6 record so far this year.
  • Thompson is averaging 14.1 ppg and 11.4 rpg this season, including a 13-point, 13-rebound effort against Voyageur Academy in December.
  • She is a dual sport athlete with CRHS and was a sound volleyball player with the Red Wolves.

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