In non-region play, however, the steps taken by Cass have been a little clearer to witness, as was the case Tuesday as the Colonels romped to a 4-2 win over visiting Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe.
The victory gave Cass its fourth of the season and snapped a six-game losing streak -- with all those losses coming in the region.
"We're continuing to work, and that's been my thing that I've been hyping all season with the kids is just try to get better every day and continue to work," Colonels coach Frank Kunf said. "We had very tough opponents. We had Lambert, No. 1 in the state, [and] Chattahoochee, defending state champ, so we went through our rough stretch there a little bit. They didn't get down on themselves. We just continued to work and not focus on those losses, and [we're] still moving forward. This was a good win.
"The kids did work hard tonight, and it's a testament to them for sticking to their dedication for the year and not quitting on us."
Jovanny Fernandez returned to his form prior to Cass' losing streak as he scored a pair of goals in the first half -- giving his team a 3-2 lead -- before completing the hat trick after halftime.
"At the beginning of the season, he started off real hot as our goal scorer. It was good to see him finally come back tonight," Kunf said of Fernandez. "He had a hat trick tonight. He had three goals, and three of those assists came from Kenneth McPherson."
McPherson twice found Fernandez with aerial passes -- once on a corner kick and then on a cross -- which the team's top goal scorer of the night headed into the back of the net. McPherson also scored the Colonels' second goal of the night.
"We're finally putting together, I guess, teamwork. We're starting to bond and come together as a team -- I know it's late in the season. We started playing and supporting each other," Kunf said. "They were communicating a lot better ... making runs and guessing on what they [Warriors] were gonna do next, so they knew where to go with the ball. We're starting to put together what we do in practice; [it's] translating on the field."
Midway through the first half, Cass started to dominate possession, rarely allowing Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe past midfield.
That on-ball dominance allowed the Colonels an advantage in shots on goal, and after near misses from Fernandez and Pablo Dolores, Fernandez finally pushed a goal through when he got on the end of a pass to score in the 22nd minute.
Cass' lead lasted all of about 3 minutes as the Warriors benefited from an own goal when a Colonels defender, sprinting back on defense straight toward his goal, had an LFO pass go off his foot an into the goal.
In the 30 minute, the Warriors nearly had their own mishap on defense cost them a goal when the ball momentarily rolled under their goal keeper's legs. An LFO defender booted the ball out of bounds before a Cass player could get on to it.
Cody West's assist allowed McPherson to score from outside the box in the 34th minute, and Fernandez's header off a McPherson corner kick gave the Colonels a 3-1 lead 5 minutes later.
LFO kept pressing, however, and took advantage of a Cass team in full-out attack mode as the Warriors scored with less than a minute left in the half.
The second half featured far less action than its predecessor, with both teams combining for less than half the shots they had in the first half. Fernandez's header in the 55th minute came off of McPherson's cross, one of the few times that a Colonels attack ended in a shot in the second half.
Cass accomplished one of its goals with the two-goal win -- eclipsing last year's win total.
"Last year we won three games, and now we're up to four games. That was kind of our goal is just to improve from last year," Kunf said. "For us, we're just trying to build. We're trying to build a program here, which the kids are doing that and they're working hard to do those things. We still got a couple of more region games; we got six more games to go, and we can compete with all these [teams]. As long as we play what we're supposed to do, we can be competitive in all the rest of these games."
The Colonels (4-8, 1-6) visit South Forsyth Friday for a region matchup slated to start at 8 p.m.