Shawn Karsten, right, waits his turn to speak on camera for The Ripon Channel. He's with Marty Ernser, left, and Lind Krause.
Shawn Karsten, right, waits his turn to speak on camera for The Ripon Channel. He's with Marty Ernser, left, and Lind Krause.

   Growing up visiting the sidelines of college football games with his father, Riponite Shawn Karsten knew what he wanted to do with his life at an early age.

   He always joked with his dad, an Emmy Award-winning ESPN sideline reporter, that he was going to take his job one day — and be better than he was.

   But all that changed seven years ago last month when Adrian Karsten, who lost his job in 2003 due to an alcohol addiction, took his life before he was to report to federal prison for tax evasion.

   The dream of following in his father’s footsteps was no longer clear for Shawn Karsten. Even after coming to grips with what had happened, Karsten still wasn’t sure he wanted to step on the sidelines.

   Instead, he elected to make an impact though public speaking appearances, telling the story of him and his father and the challenges he has had to overcome along the way.

   While Karsten continues to enjoy the experiences of making a difference, he got an itch this past summer he couldn’t ignore: to follow in his father’s footsteps and pursue a career in TV/radio.

   The 2003 Ripon High School and 2009 Ripon College graduate returned to school this fall to get a degree in that field.

   He also returned to the sidelines, reporting on high school football games for the Ripon Channel.

Read the full story in the Oct. 11, 2012 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.