2018 & 2019 CCA Grand National Champs

Samantha Schade

Head Coach


Samantha Schade was named the Averett University cheerleading head coach in May 2018 after joining the program as a volunteer assistant coach in 2017.


After joining Averett’s cheer program, she helped the Cougars achieve major honors this past March as Averett’s team was named the 2018 Christian Cheerleaders of America National Champions and Collegiate Grand Champions at their first competition in Fayetteville, North Carolina.


A native of Long Island, New York, Schade cheered at the high school and college levels. She has been coaching for 12 years from youth to varsity high school. In 2017, her varsity team was national finalist at UCA Nationals. Schade has also worked at the Gravity Cheer gym teaching tumbling classes, coaching teams and teaching flexibility, strength and conditioning. In addition, Schade is a certified cheerleading judge and judged middle school through varsity teams over the past year with the Virginia High School League.


Schade earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education from Dowling College in 2014 and recently completed her master’s degree in athletic administration from Concordia University in April 2018.

Karen Canody

Assistant Coach


Karen Canody joined the Averett University cheerleading program as an assistant coach in January 2016. Canody has more than 19 years of cheerleading experience. She has worked in the Pittsylvania County and Danville City schools as a cheer coach and judge. Canody is accredited with VHSL/NFHS and UCA with stunting, motions, jumps and tumbling.


She is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Nursing and is employed by the State of Virginia Department of Health. A native of Danville, Virginia, Canody and her husband, Tony, have a daughter, Candice, and son-in-law, Josh.



Erica Skiddle


Assistant Coach


Erica Skiddle joined the Averett University cheerleading team as a volunteer assistant in September 2018 after cheering for four years with the Cougars as a student.


Skiddle was a team captain and helped the Cougars become the 2018 Christian Cheerleaders of America National Champions and Collegiate Grand Champions during her senior season. A native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, Skiddle earned USA South Academic All-Conference honors. She was also named the Dan River Nonprofit Network’s Volunteer of the Year in December 2016.


Skiddle graduated from Averett in May 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She teaches at Chatham Middle School.