Rick Luna, the boys’ basketball and baseball coach at Dora High School, says the tiny south-central Missouri town rarely gets transfer students.
A pair of skilled two-sport athletes moving in? Unheard of.
But that’s what Dora got in December 2011, when twins Dustin and Kamryn Johnson came to the school.
"I was definitely glad to see two 6'3" guys come in that play basketball and baseball," Luna said. "And excel at both sports."
The two moved to the West Plains area from Scott County Central High School (Sikeston). The twins said their new classmates had a hard time believing them when they pointed out that Dora actually had a bigger enrollment than Scott County Central.
Dustin and Kamryn said they had to adjust to a different style of baseball.
“There’s a lot more off-speed stuff here, a lot of trick plays Dustin Johnson said. “Over there, it’s a lot more old school baseball – you could see four straight batters bunt.”
The pair said Dora students were mostly welcoming at first, except for a few hagglers.
“There was maybe one or two that hung out together that thought since we were the new kids that maybe we shouldn’t play,” Dustin Johnson said. “You’ll get that wherever you go. As the year went along, those guys started to accept us.”
Added Kamryn Johnson: “I’m not saying we’re the best players on the team, because we’re not, but it helps out having two guys that are even. If someone else messes up or someone does something that nobody else likes, as long we’re there pushing them it makes the entire team better.”
The two put up eerily similar stats this spring, ranking near the top of the team in most hitting categories. In basketball last winter, Dustin averaged 10.7 points while Kamryn added 8.6 points and 7.1 rebounds for a Dora team that won its district.
On the baseball diamond, they joined a Falcons squad that had reached the Class 1 state quarterfinals in 2011. Last spring, Dora lost in the district semifinals to Billings. Norwood would beat Billings in the district final and eventually lose to Santa Fe in the Class 1 state title game.
Dora bumped up to Class 2 this year as MSHSAA added a fifth class to baseball. The Falcons finished the regular season 20-3 but were upset by Norwood in their district opener.
Dustin and Kamryn will go on to play college baseball together at Central Methodist. Dustin said he hopes to pursue a degree in molecular biology while Kamryn wants a double major of pathology and criminal justice.
Dorial Green-Beckham is now an Oklahoma Sooner.
If you’re scratching your head right now, you’re not alone.
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