This week in Riverhead history: Blue Wave star selected in NFL Draft

JOHN SANDHAUS/GETTY IMAGES | Scott Merserau was a longshot to make it to the NFL in his days at Riverhead High School and Southern Connecticut State University. He would go on to start seven seasons with the Jets.

25 years ago

Rams pick Mersereau

Former Riverhead High School defensive tackle Scott Mersereau (Class of 1983) became a fifth round draft pick by the Los Angeles Rams Tuesday, sports editor Glenn Jochum wrote in the April 30, 1987 issue of the Riverhead News-Review.

Scott’s mother Janet of Calverton recalled how her son learned he was drafted: “Rams head coach Don Robinson called and asked Scott if he still wanted to be a Ram. Scott screamed ‘Do I?’ and then Robinson said ‘Then you are one.'”

For Riverhead High School fans who remember the former All-League, All-County selectee who played under coach Dick Herzog, it may be hard to imagine Scott, who then weighed 205 pounds, going up against bonecrushing professional football linemen, as he soon may. But at his present size, 6-3, 283 pounds, he will be right at home in the NFL, we wrote.

Postscript: Mersereau ended up having a solid pro career with the hometown New York Jets. He was profiled this past summer as one of our 20 Greatest Athletes in Area History.

50 years ago

Space testing section installed by Long Island firm

Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation announced April 17 that it completed installation of four new space-age facilities costing $2.5 million and consolidating similar testing spaces into a space environmental test and development section, we wrote in the April 26, 1962 issue of the News-Review.

perhaps the most imposing of the new facilities is an environmental space chamber, among the most technically advanced large space simulators in the United States, which will be used to create spacial comparable to those encountered at an altitude of 300 miles, we wrote.

70 years ago

22,000 men register for 45-64 draft

More than 22,000 male residents of Suffolk County, aged 45 to 64 years old, signed up for whatever non-military duty their country may require of them in the fourth selective service registration we wrote in the April 30, 1942 issue of the County Review.

About 2,500 of those men were from the North Fork, we wrote.

75 years ago

Suspected ghost turns out to be a mouse

One of the pretty girl clerks in the mosquito department at the court house had her nerves set all in a quiver by ghostly noises at exactly the same time every night, we wrote in the April 30, 1937 issue of The Riverhead News.

At last, however, the puzzle was solved — it was a playful mouse engaged in rolling a tiny marble about the room — it was finally caught in the act, we wrote.

Having discovered the cause of the noises she is undetermined whether she is more afraid of a ghost or a mouse, the story reads.

Postscript: It’s amazing what passed for news on the North Fork in 1937.

95 years ago

Freight wreck here

In what is described as the most unusual wreck the LIRR ever had, nine heavily loaded freight cars were piled up in an unusual heap a mile and a half west of the Riverhead Depot about 10 a.m., April 24, 1917, we wrote in that week’s issue of The Riverhead News.

Traffic was stopped at that point on the Main Line for more than 24 hours following the incident in which no one was injured, we wrote.

100 years ago

Rick is driving mules

Instead of being at the muddy bottom of the Peconic River, where his wife and friends feared he was last week, Will Rick is at present driving a team of mules in East Moriches, we wrote in the April 19, 1912 issue of the Riverhead News-Review.

From the stories gleaned from some of the locals, it appears Rick’s wife, who is a big woman, “walloped” him a week ago and sent him clamming, we wrote. He caught a few clams and then “planted” his boots in the river, set his boat adrift, and hiked it across the plains. He obtained a job a few days later, evidently believing a team of mules safer company than he enjoyed at home, we wrote.

When he failed to come back from clamming, his wife became alarmed. She asked Riverhead authorities for help to locate his body. The Oddfellows Lodge, of which Rick is vice grand, also sent a delegation down to drag his body. Members of the lodge are “mad” now about the hoax, we wrote.

Postscript: You can read more about the lodge here.