Hawaii football team’s trio of Australians get the job done

Living in Hawaii often means working two jobs.

Three Australians on the Hawaii football team have embraced that ethos. Ryan Meskell handles kickoffs and point-scoring kicks. Stan Gaudion is the punter and holder. Ben Scruton is a situational punter who is available as a defensive back and on special-team coverages.

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Growing up in Australia often means joining the work force at an early age.

“We don’t let our parents pay for stuff,” Meskell said of his work background. “I had my first job when I was actually 12.”

Meskell delivered promotional brochures or, in American parlance, junk mail. The brochures would be dropped off on Tuesdays at his family’s home in Canberra. He would sort the brochures on Wednesdays, then place them into letter boxes the next two days.

“I was walking around for, like, four hours on end just to save up for a pair of headgear to wear for my rugby games,” Meskell said.

Meskell also has worked as a barista, lifeguard at a water park, and goal-keeper coach.

Gaudion, who was born and reared in Melbourne, was 13 years old when his father gave him the tax-of-life speech.

“Dad said, ‘I’m not giving you pocket money anymore,’” Gaudion recalled.

Gaudion’s first job was at a pizzeria. “It was called Mario’s,” Gaudion said. “He has the best pizza on the Northern Beaches. It’s all in the way it’s made. It takes a lot of care, a lot of love. He’s actually still our next-door neighbor back home.”

Gaudion’s resume includes working for a landscaping company, a bottle shop and a caterer.

“Australia is a very hard-working country,” Gaudion said. “We’re blue-collared people.”

Scruton spent his hanabata days in Aubrey — “the middle of nowhere, between Melbourne and Sydney.” The popular pastimes were Australian rules football, rugby and racing motor bikes. But those pursuits were in the spare time from school and work.

At 13, Scruton, like Meskell, distributed brochures. When he was 15, he worked in a fruit store, stacking the leftover fruit in the refrigerator and mopping floors. “It was underpaid work,” said Scruton, who earned $7.50 an hour, “but it paid for my movies on the weekend.”

After that, he worked in the warehouse of an online clothing company. That guy searching for orders, then packing and taping boxes? That would be Scruton.

During Australia’s summers, Scruton worked for C&C Plastics, a Gold Coast company specializing in custom molding. When he was 19 (a year older than the country’s legal drinking age) he worked at a high-end store that sold Italian wine.

On his own, he repaired motorbikes. One of his on-going projects is restoring a Husqvarna Nuda 900, a powerful bike. “It’s been 31/2 years, and I still haven’t ridden it,” Scruton said.

In Hawaii, he fixed a moped to where it could reach a top speed of 80 mph. “It was pretty cool,” Scruton said. Alas, that moped was stolen a couple of days ago.

“If anybody sees an 80-mph moped, hit me up,” he said.

Of his experiences, Scruton said, “in Australia, you’re expected to work.”

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Coach Nick Rolovich praised the Australians’ work ethic.

For all their self reliance, there’s another thing Meskell, Gaudion and Scruton have in common. “We all use (defensive end) Max Hendrie’s Netflix account.”