In his high school days at Francis Scott Key in the early '70s, Ron Morley was a standout, three-sport athlete.

During the fall, the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder was an all-state fullback and linebacker on the gridiron. When spring rolled around, Morely starred on the track team, winning three state shot-put titles and coming close in the discus.

In between, Morley played varsity basketball "to keep me in shape," he said.

"He was an exceptional athlete, physically gifted withan unbelievable work ethic," said former Key track and field coach Bill Hill, now a coach at Westminster High. "He was the kind of kid who coaches say, 'I wish I had about 30 of them.' "

Today, Morley, 36, lives in Westminster and is enjoying much of the same success on adifferent field.

Now married with two young boys, Morley has owned a marketing business -- Debron Business Systems -- out of Timonium,Baltimore County, for the past five years.

The business provides group health insurance plans to small businesses and also helps both professionals and non-professionals get started in their own small business.

"Things are going extremely well," Morley said. "The business has given me financial independence, allowed me to set my own time schedule and given me an opportunity to help others."

A bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Virginia has played prominently in Morley's success.

After graduating from Key in 1972, Morley accepted a scholarship to play football at Virginia.

"The coach (Don Lawrence) had a policy that would not allow you to be a two-sport participant if it interfered with fall or spring football. I never really pushed him on the subject but now wish I had," Morley said.

Morley started 29 games at linebacker and nose guard his first three years under Lawrence.

Virginia hired a new head football coach, Sonny Randall, his senior year which turned out to be another setback for Morley.

"(Randall's) philosophy was not to play any seniors, so I never got on the field my senior year. Around 40 players left school that year. I made the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team my sophomore and junior year and felt I had an opportunity to go to the pros if I could have a great senior year," he said.

Randall was fired the same year.

The end of Morley's athletic career left many lingering questions. But while most will be left unanswered, his competitive spirit remains with him today.

Of all the sports he participated in, Morley preferred track and field because of the individualand team concepts involved.

"I really believe anything you do youhave to be a team player -- you have to do your part to help the team win. In the shot put, I knew what I had to do as an individual to help the team. I didn't mind that pressure," he said.

"In football,you're one-eleventh of the team, and if you lose a game you could always point fingers, where in track it's only you," he added.

Through the years, Morley has kept in shape working out and playing racquetball. After injuring his back two years ago, he now would like to make a comeback of sorts in track and field.

He is planning on joining the Amateur Athletic Union -- a nationwide organization developed around the sport of track and field. The AAU offers some 15 spring, summer and indoor organized meets.

How far would he like to pursue this comeback?

"I've never seen how far I could go with the shot put and discus and would like to pursue it to the point where I felt Igave it my all. Maybe I'll see if I can become the top amateur shot putter," he said.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad