Published: Oct 14, 2012 8:58 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 14, 2012 10:34 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Southwest Florida community came together for a night of football and fellowship. Jesse Watlington's jersey, number 51, was retired.

Jesse Watlington was honored at halftime during a rival football game between Southwest Florida Christian Academy and Evangelical Christian.

11-year old Watlington lost his life after being struck by lightning on his way to football practice,

Pastor Richard Powell says the tragedy has brought the community together, "It's really an emotion of remembrance. We will never forget this young man. Our school family has been supportive our church family has been wonderfully supportive."

"They're strong folks, they have a strong faith and they know now that the most important thing is to help these young men on the football team, classmates of Jesse to be able to help through," said Powell.

Southwest Florida Christian Academy will hang number 51 in the school's gymnasium with a plaque dedicated to Jesse.