PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The third annual George Mulligan memorial wrestling tournament began at Bay High School on Friday.

There are 17 teams in participation from around the Panhandle and the southeast including all Bay County squads.

Since there is no technical Bay County championship, the tournament serves as that for the six teams from the county, as the team with the highest score will be crowned county champ.

Bay head wrestingling coach Mark Deaton said that every wrestling tournament at Bay is special because they get to honor the late Coach Mulligan by leaving an empty chair next to the mat every time they wrestle.

“That jacket that’s sitting in that chair was given to me at his funeral and it’s what got me back in here coaching to honor him and this tournament, Deaton said. “That jacket you see is from 1982 we were district champions, regional championships, and finished third in the state that year as a team. That jacket will always be in my corner when we run this tournament.”

The second and final day of the tournament will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday.