UTC Grad Signs Pro Contract, Will Play Soccer In Switzerland

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- University of Tennessee at Chattanooga graduate Donna-Kay Henry (Jamaica Village, N.Y.) will fulfill her dream of playing professional soccer after signing to play for the FC Neunkirch in Switzerland.

 

“She’s been working for this for years,” UTC Head Coach J.

D. Kyzer said of his star striker. “It’s a dream a lot of people have, but few get to make happen.”

 

Henry, Chattanooga’s only four-time All-Conference soccer player, will depart her hometown of New York for Switzerland on Thursday joining longtime friend Nicole McClure on the team. McClure a former goal keeper with the University of South Florida was instrumental in helping Henry get noticed.

 

“I saw Nicole when I went home to New York and told her that I was trying to continue playing and she said she’d let me know if anything came up with her team, the FC Neunkirch,” Henry said. “A few weeks later she said her coach was looking for more players and he contacted me via email.”

 

After exchanging paperwork and answering a few questions, Henry was offered a spot on the team.

 

She was born in Jamaica and moved to New York when she was seven. She has dual citizenship with the United States and Jamaica, an independent country with Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II serving as the Jamaican monarch. With that in mind she has bigger goals than just playing professionally, however.

 

“I hope this gives me an opportunity to play and showcase my talent,” she said. “I want to continue to get better and be able to play for the National team, either the U.S. or Great Britain.

 

“Being so far away from home will be a bit difficult since I’ve never been anywhere except the U.S. and Jamaica. I don’t know what to expect, but I’m excited to go.”

 

“Playing overseas can open doors for her everywhere,” Kyzer said. “Others countries are more supportive of soccer. For them soccer is pretty much a way of life.”

 

Upon her arrival at Chattanooga, her speed and ball handling abilities quickly set the Southern Conference on its ear. She finished her career second all-time at UTC for points (78), goals (31), assists (16) and shots attempted (213). She drew many fouls as opponents, unable to keep up, would take her down on the way towards the goal.

 

As a sophomore, she scored a school-record four goals against USC Upstate for a school-record eight points in a single game in the Gardner-Webb Border Classic. In her senior year she was named that tournament’s MVP. She had a hat trick in her junior season with three goals against Georgia Southern and scored two goals against Elon that same year.

 

“Playing UTC taught me that I have a role,” Henry said. “I was the go-to person, the person they looked to to score goals and I was the person they looked to to pump them up if we were down five goals. It’s kept me going and pushed me harder every game.”

 

Henry earned a spot on the UTC Dean’s List and Athletics Director’s Honor Roll as well as the Southern Conference All-Academic Team. She graduated in December with a degree in Health and Human Performance and is employed by Exceed Physical Fitness.

 

She will depart Thursday for Switzerland to begin training to play with her new team.


PHOTOS: CAK Drops Signal Mountain, 10-2

CAK Pummels Signal Mountain 10-2 In Class 2A State Baseball

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Christian Academy of Knoxville, which won 19 of 20 games coming into the TSSAA Class 2A state baseball tournament. It didn’t take the Warriors long to take the starch out of Signal Mountain on Tuesday. CAK (36-5) scored the game’s first eight runs and cruised to a 10-2 victory over the Eagles at Blackman High School. The Warriors move on to ... (click for more)

Alexander: Corps Allocates $37 Million For Chickamauga Lock, Construction For 3rd Consecutive Year

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said the Army Corps of Engineers Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2017 "includes good news for all of East Tennessee – and everyone who benefits from river traffic passing through the Chickamauga Lock in Chattanooga." In addition to funding slated for the first three priority projects of the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, the Corps of Engineers’ Work ... (click for more)

Chris Thomas Serving As Interim Executive Director At Finley Stadium; Stadium And Pavilion Constantly In Use

The operation of Finley Stadium is in transition since the departure of former Executive Director Paul Smith and his staff. At the meeting of the Stadium Corporation’s board of directors Tuesday, Chairman Gordon Davenport announced that Chris Thomas, principal manager of the Chattanooga Market has stepped in to serve as interim executive director. Mr. Davenport told the board that ... (click for more)

Tennessee Business Expansions On Rise Across State

In 2016, Tennessee was named State of the Year for Economic Development by Southern Business & Development Magazine based on project totals and the variety of industries that invested in the state and created jobs. To a great extent, Bradley and Polk Counties have benefited from that investment.   From February 2015 to February 2016, Cleveland/Bradley County led the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Life With 007

I was 13 when the first of 24 James Bond movies came out and, at a time when my sap was just beginning to rise, I will never forget Ursula Andress stepping out of the sea wearing that white bikini. Our hero walks over to the dripping Honey Ryder – that was her name in “Dr. No” – and she says in the Swiss accent, “Are you looking for shells too?” And the first classic reply of thousands ... (click for more)