By Allison Hamburger
Jake Sonnenberg ’11 placed second in Montgomery Bell Academy’s Sandra Davis Memorial Southern Bell Forum Round Robin on Jan. 7 to Jan. 9. Ben Sprung-Keyser ’11 took fourth place in the Nashville tournament, which included only the top 12 nationwide Lincoln-Douglas debaters.
Sonnenberg lost to Marshall Thompson from Walt Whitman High School by two ballots. This round robin is considered the most prestigious of the season, Sonnenberg said, because they invite only the 12 best debaters in the league.
“It’s actually really rare for two kids from the same school to get invited,” Sonnenberg said.
Unlike other tournaments, which generally follow a draw format, the MBA Round Robin requires the competitors to debate each of the other 12, though Sonnenberg and Sprung-Keyser chose not to compete against one another and split the ballot. After all the rounds, Sonnenberg had won 16 ballots, and Sprung-Keyser had won 14.
“I had wanted to win so that was a little disappointing,” Sonnenberg said, “but in a broader perspective, it was really great and really exciting.”