The Ridgeland Panthers saw three of its five wrestlers advance to the championship quarterfinals of the Class 4A state tournament after wins early Thursday.
Defending state champion and two-time state finalist Jacob Mariakis needed just 1:28 to win by pin in his first bout in the 145-pound bracket, while teammates Jordan Hughley (138) and Ryan McGill (170) also won by pin. Hughley won in 1:10, while McGill matched Mariakis with a 1:28 pin.
The other two Panthers to qualify for state suffered narrow opening-round losses. Dylan Swanson (160) dropped an 11-8 decision, while Tommy Lamb (220) fell by an 8-5 count.
The LaFayette Ramblers, who only had two wrestlers qualify for the tournament, went 2-0 in the first round. Tyler Beard (182) recorded a pin in just 18 seconds, while Cody Deal (220) won by pin in 1:42.
Heritage took six wrestlers to Macon and saw them go 3-3 in the opening round of bouts. Ryan Craft (106) earned a win by forfeit. Garret Stephens (138) won a 9-7 decision, while Spencer Davies (160) eked out a 3-2 win.
Alex Eacret (170) lost 8-2 and Drake Parker (182) lost 14-3. Zach Brown (195) was pinned in his first-round bout.
The next round of matches for Class 4A will begin at 4 p.m. and there will be another round at 8 p.m.
Ringgold and LFO are competing in the Class 3A tournament and Gordon Lee is participating in the Class 1A tournament. Their matches will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday.
The opening ceremonies for the state championship matches will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, while the finals will start at 3 p.m. for all classes. The entire event is being held at the Macon Coliseum.