Some players helped their teams maintain a string of success. Some have shined even as their teams never dominated leagues or made deep playoff runs.
Others have helped their teams pull off remarkable turnarounds.
None, however, have pulled off the type of job Ravynn Anielski knocked off at Pioneer Valley.
Let's look at her sophomore and junior seasons with the Panthers. As a sophomore in 2017-18, Anielski scored 10.5 points per game and the Panthers went 3-22 overall and 0-14 in the PAC 8 League. There were some games that season where Anielski scored roughly half her team's points.
Then, in 2018-19, the Panthers moved to the Ocean League and Anielski helped Pioneer Valley engage in that turnaround.
After finishing 19 games under .500 the year prior, Anielski and the Panthers went 17-9 and 11-1 in league games. That's a 27-game swing in one year, going from 19 games under .500 to eight games over.
And Anielski led that swing, dominating the Ocean League. She scored 19.2 points a game that year, adding 4.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 3.2 steals. Anielski was named the Times' All-Area MVP that year and she earned Ocean League MVP honors.
That's right. Adam finds himself in a small Alabama town in the middle of a pandemic, waiting to play football. And Adam wouldn't change a thing. He's used to forging his own path to chase his football dreams.
"As we kept winning, the confidence just grew," Anielski said in 2019.
Her stellar junior season has helped Anielski earn a Player of the Decade nomination. She is the 16th and final nominee.
Though moving to Ocean League surely helped Anielski and the Panthers with their 27-game turnaround, she and Pioneer Valley proved they could compete in the tougher Mountain League last year. She scored 13.4 points a game as a senior as Pioneer Valley finished 13-15 overall and 4-8 in league.
It took Anielski, who graduated earlier this year, just 76 games to score 1,098 points in her career as she averaged 14.4 points per game. She added career averages of 4.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 2.2 steals per game.
Anielski was a talented scoring guard that preferred to work from the outside but could also slice through defenses. One of Anielski's top moves was her step-back 3.
Anielski joins the other Player of the Decade nominees, including Lompoc's Rylee Sager and Danielle Morgan; former St. Joseph players Tatiana Dunlap, Kaitlyn Flowers, Aly Beebe and Syenna Ramirez; Pioneer Valley's Shnyia Tell; Santa Ynez grad Hailey King; Righetti graduates Mariah Cooks, Danita Estorga and Molly Schlemer; Arroyo Grande's Ashlyn Herlihy and Heather Madrigal; Valley Christian's Simone Swain and Cabrillo's Erin Jenkins. The Times polled current and former coaches to develop its list of nominees for Player of the Decade.
Now a tournament-style voting contest will be held to determine the girls basketball Player of the Decade. Readers will be able to vote online at santamariatimes.com; lompocrecord.com and syvnews.com. Players from Northern Santa Barbara County and Southern San Luis Obispo County whose final seasons where in between 2009-10 and 2019-20 are eligible.
Syenna Ramirez mastered the art of getting better. Ramirez was a solid offensive contributor during her first two seasons at St. Joseph High. She scored about 8.5 points a game and added some rebounding and play-making with good, reliable defense. Then came Ramirez's junior year.