In less than three weeks, high school football teams can begin conditioning sessions. Full practice begins a week later, with live contact.
When that happens, student athletes will be watched - perhaps more closely than ever - for signs of head trauma.
The issue has received a lot of attention in recent years, with several high-profile cases of sports concussions in professional and student athletes. Locally, two-time Kennedy Award winner and former George Washington High School running back Ryan Switzer, who sat out one game after falling hard in the 2012 season opener against South Charleston.
This year, the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission is requiring all head coaches for sports on a middle school and high school level to receive training on concussions - how to recognize them and then how to proceed when they do.
"That will alert coaches to what they need to be aware of and how to be aware of it," said Gary Ray, executive director of the activities commission. "So then if there's any question about a kid or an athlete, they know how to deal with it."
That's part of a larger initiative to educate communities in all of West Virginia's schools about concussions, in an effort to keep everyone on the lookout for concussion symptoms.
At high school football games, an athletic trainer is always on hand to watch out for trouble signs and evaluate a student who may have been injured. But that doesn't apply to all sports where concussions may occur, or even to team practices, where injuries can also happen.
"Football is the focus, as it should be, but concussions could occur in every activity we have - a young person could be out running cross country and fall and hurt their head," Ray said.
And sometimes it's not immediately clear that an athlete has suffered a concussion. But the symptoms could crop up later, in class or at home or with their friends, and if the people around an athlete know what to look for, they may be able to identify their condition.
That's why the activities commission is also opening up the training course required for coaches to anyone who wants to take it and mounting a campaign to put posters and educational information in every school.