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.


Prep Football Picks: Week One

Saturday's Sixteen: College Football Picks

  College football with all its pomp and pageantry is finally here with a long weekend of games starting tonight. SEC has two conference games as Arkansas visits Auburn and Texas A&M is at South Carolina … Georgia-Clemson should be a great game, Utah State could give Tennessee a battle and Louisiana Monroe will be waiting at home to beat Wake Forest. Here ... (click for more)

School Board Unanimously Makes Cuts To Teacher Insurance; Spouses Can Only Stay On If They Have No Other Insurance

The Hamilton County School Board on Thursday night voted to Increase the premium for spouses by $100 - a move officials said would save the schools from $2,040,000 to $3,040,000. Spouses will not continue to be covered if they have insurance available to them on their jobs. School officials said the 1,700 spouses on county school insurance last year had $10 million in claims. ... (click for more)

City Audit Hits Travel Abuses By Top Chattanooga Library Personnel; Report Forwarded To State On Possible Fraud

A report by Internal City Auditor Stan Sewell found travel abuses by top personnel of the Chattanooga Library. The auditor said he found possible instances of fraud and forwarded information to state officials in regard to "reported potential fraudulent activity" by Margaret Backus, Systems Administrator and Nathaniel Hill, Assistant Library Director. The report says, ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)