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'Dogs Get New Trainer

No big whoop.

"All my girlfriends, they don't understand me," Henry says. "They're like, 'What are you doing?'"

Ever had a problem with smitten athletes? Never, she says.

The 'Dogs, who open their season at the Coliseum Oct. 15, got lucky. After going through five personal trainers last year, the Richmond hockey club landed Henry thanks to the lockout at the National Hockey League, where she had hoped to work this season after spending a year with the Manatees.

Her resume: Working with Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees and Indianapolis Colts running back Edgerrin James, who called her a week ago for advice on a hamstring injury. She was a trainer for the University of Miami Hurricanes football team from 1995 to 1999 under former Head Coach Butch Davis, who is now head coach of the Cleveland Browns. She's worked with legendary NBA coach Pat Riley, and was head trainer for the former Miami Sol of the WNBA under head coach Ron Rothstein, who is now head coach of the NBA's Miami Heat.

Now she adds the RiverDogs. After failed attempts to get a job with football and NHL hockey teams — she says the teams she talked to felt she might be a liability because of her gender — she began working in sales after the 2003-04 hockey season ended.

She couldn't stand it. "I'm not a salesman," she says. "It's a tough year for hockey, so I came here."

John Emmett, director of broadcasting and media relations for the RiverDogs, says Henry is the second female trainer for the team. One of last year's five trainers, Asha de Freitas, returned to her native Trinidad to take a job in security after the season.

The team has, so far, had some trouble with trainers. Emmett says one of them was wanted by the police in Brooklyn. "He was a nightmare," Emmett says. And there were a couple that agreed to join the team as trainers, he adds, "but didn't show up."

Henry says not to worry. "I won't leave them hanging," she says. — Scott Bass

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