Sean Gavaghan enjoyed the pleasure that comes with an American Legion state baseball championship with a very established Onalaska program eight years ago.

He’s now chasing his second title as a coach with a new program in West Salem, and he said Tuesday that the start for Post 51 couldn’t have started any better.

The first chance to check out this team is today, when the team

(2-0) hosts Mauston in a doubleheader that begins at 5:30 p.m.

It will be the first-ever home Legion game for the village to attend.

“To say that everyone around is fired up would be an understatement,” said Gavaghan, also a former pitching coach at UW-La Crosse. “It’s Friday night, it’s under the lights.

“When you turn those lights on, people show up, and that’s what we’re expecting.”

This is the first chance for Post 51 to sponsor a team because the high school team was a summer program until this year.

The Panthers advanced to a WIAA Division 3 sectional semifinal in their first season as a spring sport.

Gavaghan said that starting up the program has been a pretty smooth project and that that had a lot to do with the high school and West Salem Park and Recreation.

“We had nothing when we started,” Gavaghan said. “No uniforms, no equipment. It took a lot of work to get funds raised.

“But it was a combined effort by Post 51, Friends of West Salem Baseball, the guys playing and community to get this going.”

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