PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The 4th annual George Mulligan Memorial Wrestling Tournament is set to begin Friday as the largest wrestling tournament put on in Bay County history.

The tournament will feature 47 total teams, 32 boys and 15 girls, and will run eight mats at all times, which is the most ever attempted at Bay High or in Bay County.

The tournament is more than doubling in size, having just 18 teams competing last year.

George Mulligan, for whom the tournament honors, helped establish high school wrestling at Bay High as well as other Bay County high schools.

Bay Head Wrestling Coach Mark Deaton said his former coach is the main focus of the record-breaking production.

“This is to honor Coach George Mulligan, who was my coach and many, many other people’s coach,” Deaton said. “He coached here for over 57 years in this area, started our program, and coached me all the way through on into life as a mentor. I could call him at any time. He coached in the corner with me. When I was in the state championship finals, he was in a corner as my coach.”

Of the 47 teams participating, all six Bay Couty high schools will be competing. A tournament win at the Mulligan Memorial has even more incentive for Bay County teams.

“This is also our county championship,” Deaton said. “It takes the place of the county championship. So, whatever team finishes higher in points in the tournament wins the county championship. We will also be awarding county champions for each weight class.”

The Mulligan Memorial tournament will begin Friday afternoon and run through late Friday evening, continuing Saturday morning with the finals expected to begin around 4:00 p.m.