The footsteps can be heard down the hallway, coming closer to the door. E.C. Central coach Stacy Adams and his senior middle linebacker Patrick Shaw look outside.
The same thing has happened time and time again. This is Shaw's life.
"He opens the door for a lady every chance he gets," Adams said. "Not a lot of kids do that these days. But Patrick does it all the time. He's a high-character young man."
On the football field, however, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Shaw isn't opening the door for anyone. In fact, he will slam the door in an opponents' face better than most.
He has 135 tackles -- with 21 of them for a loss.
Not bad for a kid who didn't play a down of organized football until his freshmen year. He grew up in Merrillville and went to a couple of punt, pass and kick competitions. The grid hook was inserted into his soul.
"At first it was kind of difficult," Shaw said. "The upperclassmen would try to pickle you at practice. They'd try to hit you extra hard.
"But it helped me get tougher, faster. It made me a better player, in my opinion."
Shaw's speed is another attribute that has college coaches calling.
He's run the 100-yard dash in 11.1 and teamed with other Cardinals in getting the school's 400-meter relay team to state last June.
He also has a friend in the neighborhood whom he boxes with. It isn't going-for-the-knockout boxing, but the two work the bag and then spar awhile.
"I just love sports, I love competition," Shaw said.
Adams uses football to teach solid citizenship to his student-athletes as much as trying to get a first down. There is a reason Shaw is a captain.
"Patrick is one of the shyest persons on our team," Adams said. "But he is one of our vocal leaders now. We always say the game can't start until Patrick gets started."
Adams also pointed out Shaw comes to all the junior varsity games on Saturday to give support and guidance to the younger Cardinals.
It would be easy to sleep in but that isn't the Shaw way.
"Patrick's one of the best character guys we have," Adams said.
Friday night, E.C. (7-2) will travel to Morton (8-1) for the Class 4A Sectional 17 opener. The Govs beat the Cards 19-6 on Sept. 27.
"I watch a lot of film," Shaw said. "I need to know where to be. I have to predict the play before it happens. I have to be two steps quicker than the offensive line.
"Our defense has to play a great game. Our offense has to put up points. We need to play hard to get this win."
When the final horn blows, though, Shaw will have respect for the game and show great sportsmanship. That is how he was raised.
"I've been around a lot of old people growing up," Shaw said. "They taught me those old-time manners. I tried to learn from them and they've helped make who I am today."