PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– The Bay High wrestling team is holding the second annual George Mulligan Memorial tournament this weekend.
Mulligan is known as the Godfather of wrestling in Bay County, so the meet is held in his honor.
Although some teams had to back out of the tournament due to the pandemic, there are still 16 teams taking part. It is the largest tournament in the Panhandle so far this year.
“Because of COVID everyone has been restricted to a one-day tournament… as I know we are the only two-day tournament that’s been able to go on, and I’m thankful for that,” said Bay High head wrestling coach Mark Deaton.
Deaton said Mulligan had a profound impact on his life and the reason he even got back into coaching was to host the tournament. He said he gives a special thanks to his son, Zach, and Wewahitchka head wrestling coach Tracy Malcolm for making this meet a success.
Coach Mulligan’s jacket will be in Bay High’s corner each time a Tornado takes to the mat.
This year it will also serve as the Bay County championship. The Bay County team that places the highest in the final team rankings will claim the title for the season.
Rutherford wrestler, Xavier Stillgess, won the memorial tournament last year, he will look to do that a second time on Saturday. The Ram was the last athlete Mulligan ever coached.
“It’s a great experience, I’m glad we were able to come up with this meet, and now that it’s annual meet it will be around for years and it just means a lot,” Stillgess said.
Semifinal matches will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and champions will be crowned Saturday afternoon at Bay High’s gym.