NORTH FULTON, Ga. — Furman University announced May 18 it will cut its baseball and men’s lacrosse programs, devastating news for seven local grads who played for the Paladins.

Mason Kenney, Joshua Germany and Dylan Matela, all Milton High School grads, were on the baseball roster along with Blessed Trinity’s John Michael Bertrand and Jared Mihalik, a Johns Creek alum.

Centennial High School grad Frankie Cecere and North Forsyth’s Reece Crook played for the men’s lacrosse team.

In a May 18 announcement, the university said it was discontinuing the sports programs and taking other measures because of the “unprecedented financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Furman will honor the scholarships of current and incoming student athletes in baseball and men’s lacrosse for the remainder of their undergraduate academic careers at Furman, and assist them with transferring to another institution if they decide to do so,” the university said.

Matela tweeted that the move “hurts my heart.”

“I love all my teammates and coaches and wouldn’t have asked for anything different,” Matela tweeted. “Y’all are my family.”

Matela and Cecere, both freshman, will be looking to join new programs before completing their first season. Kenney, Germany, and Crook will look ahead to their junior seasons while Mihalik will have to land with a new program for his senior campaign.

While those athletes scramble to find new programs, Bertrand already knows his next destination. In April, he announced he had become a graduate transfer to Notre Dame.

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