Concord, Calif., (September 1, 2021) - De La Salle High School today announced new inductees to its Athletic Hall of Fame for the Class of 2021. The 2021 De La Salle Athletics Hall of Fame inductees will include individuals Mark Halvorson (former varsity wrestling coach), Noah Merl ‘01 (soccer), Jason Price ‘06 (track and field), Travis Pfeifer ‘97 (football), Kevin Simon ‘01 (football), Dan Vinson ‘04 (lacrosse), and Brandon Zoetewey ‘05 (wrestling). The 1994 De La Salle Football Team will also be inducted into this year’s hall of fame class.
The class of 2021 will be officially inducted into the De La Salle Athletic Hall of Fame on Sunday, October 24 at 3 p.m. on the De La Salle campus. The event will be open to the public and registration is available online through the school’s Hall of Fame webpage.
As part of the nomination process, these honorees are recognized not only for their athletic achievements, but for their academic, professional, and community involvement. Many of the members of this class are noted for their dedication and support of the De La Salle Mission.
Mark Halvorson (coach) will posthumously be inducted into the De La Salle Athletics Hall of Fame. Mark was named the head varsity wrestling coach at De La Salle in 1999 and led the school’s program until 2020 when he died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 57. In his 21 years as the head coach of the De La Salle wrestling program, he led the school to 11 North Coast Section championships, while sending nearly 100 Spartans to state meets, where they claimed 23 medals and two individual state championships (Peyton Omania ‘18 in 2018, Kyle Parco ‘19 in 2019). He also coached for Team USA Wrestling in Singapore, Mexico, and Brazil, and in 2016 he was selected as a Greco-Roman volunteer coach on Team USA for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Noah Merl ’01 was a standout soccer player for De La Salle for three seasons (1998-2001), earning two First Team All-BVAL selections. A team captain of the 2001 North Coast Section championship team, he was named to the All-Contra Costa Times Team following his junior and senior seasons. Noah played college soccer at UC Berkeley (2001-04) where he was a three-time All-Pac-10 selection, a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic honoree, and a three-year team captain. After being selected in the third round of the 2005 Major League Soccer Draft by the San Jose Earthquakes, and missing the 2006 season, he played three seasons with the Seattle Sounders (2006-08), winning a United Soccer League (USL) Championship in 2007, before finishing his playing career with the Seattle Wolves of the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL).
Travis Pfeifer ’97 excelled as an offensive and defensive lineman at De La Salle, earning three varsity letters. Travis was named a Prep All-American by PrepStar, which ranked him as the sixth-best offensive lineman in the region. Following his All-American senior season, he earned First Team All-State, All-City, All-League, All-East Bay, and All-Bay Area honors as an offensive lineman. Additionally, he was selected as the City Player of the Year, the East Bay co-Offensive Player of the Year, and the North Coast Section Defensive Player of the Year. He helped De La Salle win three straight Division I state championships (1994-96), as the Spartans were 38-0 during that stretch. As a sophomore, he was part of the 1994 football team that won the program’s first national championship. As a junior, he earned First Team All-City, All-League, All-County, and All-East Bay honors, helping the 1995 Spartans to a number-four national ranking. As a senior, the 1996 football team ranked second nationally at the end of the year. He earned a full scholarship to play football at Stanford University, where he was a three-year letter winner at nose guard and was a member of the Cardinal’s 2000 Rose Bowl team.
Jason Price ’06 was a three-year standout on the De La Salle varsity track and field team. During his senior season, he posted the third-fastest 400m time in school history (48.28) and finished second at the North Coast Section Meet of Champions. He also ran the first leg for the Spartans’ 4x400m relay team, which set a school-record time of 3:17.27, before finishing first at the NCS MOCs in 2006. After De La Salle, Jason attended the University of Southern California (USC) where he was a member of the track and field team for four seasons. A team captain as a junior and senior, he was an Academic All-American in 2010 and a two-time All-American as part of USC’s 4x400m relay team, placing fifth at the 2010 and seventh at the 2009 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He graduated from USC in 2010 with a degree in Business Administration and as a Presidential Scholar. Jason also graduated from Harvard Business School in 2018 and has been on the boards of various sports-related organizations, including founding Crossover Into Business while at Harvard, a non-profit that helps professional athletes accelerate their business careers and impact their communities.
Kevin Simon ‘01 was to be inducted into the class of 2020, but due to scheduling conflicts, he will be inducted with the class of 2021. Kevin excelled at football at De La Salle and beyond, as he was a star linebacker and running back for the Spartans from 1997-2001. He played on two De La Salle USA Today National Championship Teams (1998 & 2000) and contributed to the school’s national-record 151-game winning streak, spanning from 1992-2004. As a senior, Kevin scored 16 touchdowns as the team’s leading running back. He was named 2000 Rivals National Defensive Player of the Year, Cal-Hi Sports’ State Defensive Player of the Year, USA Today, Parade, PrepStar, and Super Prep All-American and was rated the No. 1 Linebacker in the nation by ESPN and Rivals.com. Kevin played in the inaugural U.S. Army All-American Bowl in 2000, before playing football at the University of Tennessee from 2001-05, before a brief NFL career. He was selected by the Washington Redskins in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft. After his playing days ended, Kevin has coached at both the collegiate and NFL levels.
Dan Vinson ’04 was a four-year starter for the De La Salle Varsity Lacrosse team (2001-04) and was a member of the team during the program’s inaugural season in 2001. A team captain for the Spartans in 2003 and 2004, Dan earned All-American honors by US Lacrosse, both as a junior and a senior. He was also a member of the school’s National Honor Society, was a Peer Helper, and a Youth Educator. After graduating from De La Salle, he attended Georgetown University, where he walked on to the men’s lacrosse team, playing four seasons with the Hoyas from 2006-09.
Brandon Zoetewey ’05 was a four-year letter winner in wrestling for the Spartans, a three-time Bay Valley Athletic League champion (including an undefeated season in 2005), and a two-time North Coast Section individual champion. As a junior, Brandon placed sixth at state in the 112-pound weight class, then as a senior, he posted a sixth-place state finish in the 119-pound division. After graduating from De La Salle, Brandon attended California State University, Bakersfield, where he was a three-time letter winner on the wrestling team and qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 125-pound weight class in 2008 and 2009. He compiled a 74-40 record during his four years at CSUB, which included three top-five Pac-10 Championship finishes.
The 1994 De La Salle Football Team posted a perfect 13-0 record, en route to the school’s third straight and 10th North Coast Section Championship in 13 years. The 1994 Spartans outscored their opponents 115-14 in the three playoff games, as “the streak” was extended to 39 consecutive wins. Following the 35-0 victory over James Logan in the NCS Championship game, De La Salle was named national champions by the National Sports News Services (NSNS) and the World Features Syndicate National Prep Poll (WFSNPP), marking the first of 12 national titles for the De La Salle football program. Some of the key players on the team were Mike Bastinelli, Matt Padilla, Tony, Mike, and Aaron Ponce, Saleem Muhammad, Mawuko Tugbenyoh, and Travis Pfeifer.