Published: Oct 04, 2012 8:50 AM EDT
Updated: Oct 04, 2012 4:34 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Southwest Florida Christian Academy student struck by lightning Wednesday afternoon remains in critical condition.

Jesse Watlington was flown to Tampa General around 1:00 a.m. Thursday, Senior Pastor Dr. Richard Powell said.

The 11-year-old was on his way to football practice when he was struck near Mcgregor Baptist Church on Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.

"They were just being released from their classroom setting and grabbing their practice gear and were making a single file run out to the field," Senior Pastor Dr. Richard Powell said.

"It was a completely fine day it wasn't even as overcast as it is now, no hint of any problem, and completely out of the blue, the tragedy happened." 

The head coach of the football team said the group was walking out onto the field when there was a sudden crack of lightning in the midst of the group of players. Jesse was lying on the ground, not moving.

Two staff members, who had not witnessed the strike, ran to Jesse and immediately started CPR, as he had stopped breathing and did not have a pulse.

The middle school student was rushed to Gulf Coast Medical Center. A paramedic tells WINK News, through CPR, they were able to bring back a pulse. 

Jesse was listed in critical condition at Tampa General as of noon on Thursday.

School officials have decided to cancel volleyball and football games through October 8th.