Q&A with senior soccer captains: Jenna Marks, Ruby Colby


Photo credit: Marlee Rice

Seniors Ruby Colby and Jenna Marks run down the soccer field at a game against Brentwood School. Archer played Brentwood High School on Dec. 6 and won with a score of 2-1.

Soccer season has begun at Archer, which means the 25 girls who make up the varsity soccer team are already on the road to a potential CIF victory.

The varsity soccer team made history for Archer last year, going undefeated in the Liberty League and concluding their season with a 10-0 record. The Panthers then moved onto the CIF-SS D6 playoffs last year, losing in the first round to Pomona Catholic High School.

This year, the team consists of four captains: juniors Riley Adams and Sophie Larbalestier and seniors Jenna Marks and Ruby Colby. Marks and Colby are “fired up” for their final season after a combined 10 years of playing for Archer.

The Oracle sat down with the two senior captains to discuss their personal and team goals for their final season.

When or where did you find your initial love of soccer? 

Jenna Marks [JM]: I have been brought up playing soccer since my brother played it and my dad was coaching him all through his life. Ever since then, that’s when I started picking up soccer. I believe I started at around age 4 or 5, and that’s when I fell in love with this sport.

Ruby Colby [RC]: Like most kids, I started playing AYSO when I was really young. But my sister is 2-and-a-half years older than me and she played AYSO, so I’d go to her games and watch her and her team play — and then I couldn’t wait to play until I was old enough to play on a team myself.

What are your main personal or team goals for your final season?

[JM]: My personal goal for my final season is to give it my all. When I’m on the field and I feel tired, I have that in my mind knowing that this is my last season. This is the last time being on this field against this team — this is my last time doing whatever it is and that I need to make the most of it. For team goals, the captains and I all have a very good understanding that we want to make this team as close-knit as possible. Also, just to see that connection on the field as well, and how we can make amazing plays and connect great passes. I want everyone to understand they have a role on the team — whether they are on the bench or on the field — and that every single person matters.

[RC]: My main personal goal for this season is to enjoy every moment as much as I can. It’s really easy to get caught up in the school grind and knowing that I have a lot of homework to do tonight or that I’m missing class. It’s really easy to bring that to the field and let that affect my attitude in a game. But I think, for this year, I want to try to know that I’m in my right place, and that’s where I am in the moment and where I need to be mentally.

How do you think soccer impacts the Archer community?

[JM]: I do believe that those who are a part of soccer and those who do come to the games — they do see how much of an impact [soccer] does have on [the players]. We put so much time in and it allows us to have friends from so many different grades and to connect and offer support.

[RC]: I don’t really know how soccer impacts the Archer community, but, personally, I know how the varsity soccer team impacted me before I was even on the team. When I was on the middle school team, we would share the backfield with the varsity team and sometimes I’d zone off in practices and I’d be watching [the varsity team] because I thought their practices looked a lot cooler than what I was doing. It made me think, “That’s where I want to be; I want to join them someday.” Sometimes, I will walk down the hallways and the teachers will say to me, “You have a big game tonight; are you excited?” So it’s cool to see the teachers are involved, and it’s cool to see the people we are representing care about the games.

What are your strategies to successfully lead the team this year?

[JM]: To successfully lead this team, we need to work together to all be united, but we use all our individual strengths to bounce ideas off each other and be these leaders that our team wants us to be. We’ve been doing bonding exercises like going on runs, so we’re all staying fit, and having sleepovers. We have our annual soccer sleepover, and there’s going to be a scavenger hunt to make our team as close as possible. Once we get into our huddles, we try to motivate [the team] as much as possible and try to get them out of their heads.

[RC]: A lot of it has always come down to how well we know each other and bonding. This year as senior captains, Jenna and I have tried to pull everything we go back to a central goal of what we want our season to look like and what we need to do to get there — and how we make everyone feel a part of this team so they’re able to pull from within themselves to help the team get there. Another part of bonding with each other is knowing when your teammate is at their best and when your teammate needs more support. So, just familiarizing ourselves with each other much more so we can demand the best from each other and know how to support each other when our team’s down [is important].

Varsity soccer will play against Pacifica Christian on Jan. 17 at Santa Monica College.