By Joel Muhs
Staff writer

The rise of Covid-19 created many unknowns in the lives of nearly every American, and those unknowns largely pointed at people’s jobs, as many were finding themselves barely working, or not working at all, during the shutdown.

However, ever since the post-shutdown, some have been scrambling trying to play catch-up at their jobs. One such person that has experienced the rollercoaster of the coronavirus is Hutchinson Community College’s Sports Information Director, Steve Carpenter.

A chuckle was Carpenter’s first reaction after being asked what has changed for him personally from last spring to this spring.

“A semblance of structure. Last year we had the 3A State (basketball) tournament here, baseball, softball, track, golf, and basketball just finishing up. You know, normal type stuff,” Carpenter said.

And much like everyone else, Carpenter talked about how quickly things changed.

“One year ago, it came to a screeching halt,” Carpenter said. “From that point on, it was 90 to zero. You always talk about how cars go from zero to 60 in 4.5 seconds, that was 90 to zero in absolutely about 0.2 seconds.”

During this unusual time, especially during the shutdown, people have had to come up with lots of creative ways to keep themselves busy on the job. Carpenter utilized that spare time by sticking to what he loves – sports. But he approached it with a different light.

“As far as going here, I had a lot of time to do a lot of catch-up work, get the website caught up, which I utilized. Then we started something called ‘Conversations with Carp’. It was a podcast to kind of keep our fans involved in what was going on during the early days of the shutdown,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter ended up producing 32 of those podcasts, which can be found on YouTube under the HutchBlueDragons channel, but also noted how he doesn’t have time for it anymore.[1] 

“I mean that was fun, but I wouldn’t want to do it now because I don’t have enough time,” Carpenter said.

Part of the reason for Carpenter’s limited time isn’t just the sporting world at HutchCC, but what is going on within his own family.

“Yeah, I got a granddaughter on the way. She could be here within the next 24 hours. Hopefully sometime tomorrow there will be grandchild No. 4,” Carpenter said.

And since then[2] , his fourth grandchild has been delivered successfully by his daughter Stephanie.

“Now it’s just going to start falling out,” Carpenter said referring to his aged hair and the fact he’ll have one more grandchild to look after. “It can’t get any grayer than this.”

With how much Covid has altered and changed things, it has left a bad and bitter taste in the mouths of many, including Carpenter’s.

“There was a certain amount of frustration for everybody. It took away the normal. My normal is going to a whole lot of games, covering them, taking stats on them, doing what I do, publicizing our teams. Yeah, there was a lot of frustration,” Carpenter said.

Covid has affected or touched the lives in some way, shape, or form of those around the world. It has caused lots of emotions, stress, and boredom throughout this past year. However, even though Carpenter has experienced many of those effects firsthand, he is using the wise words of his parents to help him get through this crazy time.

“My parents taught me to work hard and do what you have to do to get the job done correctly. I may not do things maybe the most efficient way, but I’m going to get it done and I’m going to get it done to my satisfaction.”

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