Many dream of a job in a field they truly love which allows their voice to be heard, but not everyone can check those boxes quite as perfectly as Warren County native and 2020 Warren County High School graduate Carter Mansfield.
Mansfield, a senior Sports Communications major at Austin Peay State University (APSU) with a minor in journalism, recently began a job as the voice of the Austin Peay Lady Govs women’s basketball program.
A lifelong sports fan and the son of Warren County educators Mike and Brandie Mansfield, Carter grew up with a love of competition and an appreciation for the importance of education. He has parlayed each of these values into a burgeoning career as a sports broadcaster. “Ever since I was young, my dad instilled my love of sports into me. He taught me basic skills such as geography and reading through sports. I grew up playing almost any sport I could get my hands on. From an early age, my dad took me to Vanderbilt football games and the NCAA basketball tournament which really made me fall in love with the atmosphere and adrenaline rush that is sports,” Mansfield said.
The desire for competition led Carter into an athletic career of his own at WCHS, but after his playing days came to an end, he found his next goal. “Growing up I played basketball and baseball as organized sports and then, at the high school level, I played basketball my freshman year (2017), baseball my sophomore year (2017-2018), and football all four years (2017-2020). Honestly, I found my passion for broadcasting over the summer with the internship that I did. When I first started in the sports communications program at APSU, I leaned more heavily towards the sports-writing side of things, which is still something I am passionate about and am considering pursuing as well, but I did an internship this past summer with the Leesburg Lightning of the Florida Collegiate Summer League and that’s really where I started to enjoy broadcasting. It was an amazing internship which allowed me to be the team’s lead TV broadcaster and beat writer for over 35 games, while getting to hang around a team full of major college baseball players for a summer,” Mansfield said.
Traveling with the team and having a front-row seat for all of the games provides Mansfield the same thrill he received in his playing days while he also gets to stretch his journalism and broadcasting skills. It is the ideal situation for the college senior, providing him the best of both worlds.
“I think what has drawn me to broadcasting is the same thing that draws me to watch any sport - the passion and adrenaline. There is nothing like watching that walk-off, buzzer-beater or last-second touchdown, and I think being the one who tells the story of that makes it even more special,” Mansfield said.
While his broadcasting career has been relatively brief to this point, he is already amassing a collection of memories and learning to deal with a variety of circumstances.
“I was able to call the game for my team in the championship game of the Florida Collegiate Summer League. I’ve gotten to cover the OVC basketball tournament and multiple football games as sports editor for the All State (APSU student newspaper). I’ve called three games on radio for our top-15 football program, and I’ve covered 27 high school state championship football games as a part of the high school football website I created and worked on for my first three years of college,” Mansfield said.
As far as his current position as the announcer for a women’s college basketball team, Carter counts himself fortunate to have the opportunity. “I just started my new job as the voice of Austin Peay women’s basketball. If you would have told me even a year ago that I would be in this position I would have laughed at you because it’s something I haven’t seen myself doing in the past. It's funny how life can work out sometimes and I’m blessed and excited to be able to have this great opportunity to get to be involved with sports for a job,” Mansfield said.
While the job is a dream, it is still a job and it is one which requires much time and effort, but the work is made more enjoyable given Mansfield’s lifelong passion for sports.
“As for the job itself, it involves a lot of work. I spend hours doing prep work every week for two to three games per week. If we have a road trip, those usually last two to three days at the minimum so I am traveling with the team a lot. During the game, I am usually doing the entire broadcast without a partner. I do a 15-minute pre-game show, call the game, host a 15-20 minute halftime show, and then a post-game show which includes an interview with the head coach. I really do enjoy it, even with the workload and balancing it with my senior level classes,” Mansfield said.